Bengaluru: No more passing the buck, no more muck on the roadside, no looking the other way when questioned—all this can become a reality if the new law passed recently which comes into effect this Monday is effectively enforced.
Governor Vajubhai Vala gave his assent to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Act 2020 and the same was gazetted on Friday.
So far, the city was governed by the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, 1976. The new law vetted by a joint legislature committee, was passed by the both the Houses of the state legislatures recently.
Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwathnarayan, who also oversees Bengaluru development, said: “The Act is historic and a major shift from the archaic KMA act. Bengaluru has metamorphosed into a major metropolis in the last 20 years. The city planners were never able to cope with rapid development which in turn affected governance of this city. Now with the new law in place major issues can be resolved as it is participatory and also inclusive. The new law holds much promise as everyone is or will be accountable. Be it development work, solid waste management, maintenance of civic areas, proactive citizens and RWAs will have a say when it comes to running the city’’.
In terms of changes brought about by the new Act, Bengaluru will now have a Mayor with a tenure increased to 30 months from the earlier one year which eventually means that during its five-year term, a council will see two Mayors who will each have a tenure of two-and-a-half years. The same will apply for Deputy Mayors too.
Further, Bengaluru will now have 15 zones as opposed to the current eight zones, which will further be divided into 243 wards. The city limits will be extended by a 1 km radius, to bring some parts of the IT offices within the city limits. For this, a delimitation exercise to draw borders of new wards will be carried out in the coming months. As a push towards decentralisation, the zones will be headed by respective zonal committees responsible for the execution of developmental plans. Each constituency will also have a separate consultative committee headed by the respective MLA, which will oversee development works of that constituency and will have members of resident welfare associations of the area.
In terms of revenue generation, the BBMP will now collect entertainment tax and levy fees for hoardings. In another likely avenue for greater revenue generation, the property tax will now be collected based on the net asset value of the property rather than the present system.
Further a transport cess has also been proposed in the new law. With the new Act, ward committees will be responsible for overseeing daily waste management of the wards. They will also be required to prepare an action plan considering the requirements, budgetary allocations and infrastructure requirements as per the Ward Micro Plan and other policies of the BBMP.
The new BBMP law states that the state government shall constitute a Heritage Conservation Committee, which shall frame appropriate regulations for the protection, conservation and maintenance of heritage buildings and sites in the city.