Thursday, November 23, 2006

BMP to go under administrator rule

BMP to go under administrator rule
Deccan Herald

On the eve of appointment of an administrator for the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, Commissioner K Jairaj held out the promise of some “quick decisions”.

On the eve of appointment of an administrator for the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, Commissioner K Jairaj held out the promise of some “quick decisions”.

Road-widening works, infrastructure projects such as automated and multi-level car parking lots, inner-core ring road, rejuvenation of the Malleshwaram market are reportedly in his priority list.

The commissioner’s role in an administrator set-up is akin to that of a chief executive officer and he/she shall be working under an administrator. The latter who shall be appointed by the State government will fill in the gap left by the elected body and shall perform the role of the council, mayor and standing committees.

The term of office of the 11th council of representatives of the BMP, ruled by the Congress, expires on Thursday (November 23). The State government is, therefore, expected to issue a notification on the appointment of an administrator on Thursday and the administrator rule will be effective from Friday.

Besides, the appointment of an administrator has become necessary because the State government, which is engaged in the process of formation of Greater Bangalore (the merger of the BMP and surrounding local bodies) has not taken any measures for holding elections to the BMP council.

The incoming person shall be the 24th administrator of BMP. BMP’s last stint under an administrator was in 1996. The administrator then was Mr P S S Thomas (from October 10, 1996 to November 24, 1996). An administrator is chosen from the IAS cadre in the rank of Principal Secretary and above.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, just after a series of exit press conferences by the mayor and leaders of the political parties in the outgoing BMP council, Commissioner Jairaj clarified that his comment on “quick decisions” was no disrespect to an elected body. It is just that the time consumed by files moving through the standing committees and the council of representatives for approval negates the whole process, he said. The commissioner and his team shall now place the proposals directly before their administrator, in whom is vested the approving authority.

Officials in the Department of Urban Development noted that an administrator rule does not spell any change in the day-to-day functioning of the BMP. Officers and staff at the ward, division and zonal levels will continue to be available to all citizens, they said. “The administrator rule is like that of a care-taker chief minister or the governor being in-charge in the absence of a chief minister. The administrator can give suggestions to the commissioner and his team while also acting on the suggestions and advice from the commissioner,” they said.


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