Wednesday, February 28, 2007

BBMP officials engaged in power game instead of development

BBMP officials engaged in power game instead of development
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Till three months back, everyone thought that councillors were an impediment to development of the City.

Though the corporators were elected to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) with a mandate to facilitate growth of the City, they were allegedly busy making hay while the sun shone on the metro. The councillors hindered the officials’ work and pressurised engineers for private gains in contracts. Consequently, there was an outcry on the effect this had on the quality of work.

If it were true, the officials, now that they have no interfering councillors, should have effected substantial development. BBMP has been free of councillors for four months and the City governance has progressed at a snail’s pace. The road widening work is yet to begin and the storm water drains await remodelling.

Further, the officials are engaged in the power game. BBMP, being a massive organisation with more than 5000 officers, has cleavages galore. Officers from the BBMP cadre cannot stand those on deputation from other departments.

The officers holding sanctioned posts feel that those on non-sanctioned posts have no right to be in the Palike. Then there are differences along the lines of political allegiance. Many times, the Commissioner finds it difficult to tackle an assisstant engineer who has the support of political heavy weights.

But with councillors such was not the case. Then the priorities were clear. Work had to happen fast as faster work made them popular among the voters and also brought, if they needed, bribes from the contractors.

Officials’ opinion was rarely heeded. Officials who did not take councillors’ diktat were quickly transferred. But now, nobody knows from where the command flows. Everyone seems busy trying to settle scores with peers.

The civic body spends a quarter of the State budget. The delay in delivery of services could lead to a messy City.

BBMP needs elections in time so that the organisation finds a direction for growth.


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