Will restructuring into 10 zones help BBMP?

BBMP Wards

Remember the plans to divide BBMP into five different city corporations? A committee formed by the Karnataka State government had proposed dividing BBMP into five smaller  corporations and redraw the zones. This was meant to facilitate better administration.

The city corporation has not been divided yet, but the Karnataka government has now geared up to implement the other proposal of redesigning the zones.

In a notification issued on June 12th, the Urban Development Department has officially divided Bengaluru into 10 zones, from the existing eight zones. The notification says the decision to reclassify zones has been taken to give good administration to the citizens.

So you must be wondering which are the 10 zones. Under the new zonal reclassification, Bengaluru South, East and West zones will be replaced with Jayanagar, Malleswaram, Gandhinagar, Sarvajnanagar and Vijayanagar zones. The other five zones – Yelahanka, Dasarahalli, Mahadevapura, Bommanahalli and Rajarajeshwarinagar will retain their names. Assembly constituencies and wards too have been reshuffled.

The reason for reclassification is said to be the uneven geographical area in the older zones, with some zones being too small and some too large in size. The BBMP Commissioner in a letter to the State government had written that this uneven geographical distribution had led to tax collection and fund allotment issues.

In fact, the government notification acknowledges the recommendations of BS Patil Committee on BBMP Restructuring which had suggested to divide BBMP into 10 zones, in July 2015.

Will two more zones make a difference?

The Hindu reported that the zoning was influenced by MLAs who wanted the zones to be in sync with Assembly constituencies, so that they don’t have to deal with multiple Joint Commissioners. For example, Mahadevapura zone has lost HAL Airport ward and Vignan Nagar wards, which were not part of the Mahadevapura Assembly constituencies anyways. The report also mentions BBMP had originally planned to rearrange zones based on wards, so zonal offices are not too far for any citizen in the respective wards.

The number of wards in each zone varies from 33 in Jayanagar to 8 in Mahadevapura.This also points out to the issue of ward populations which vary hugely across the city.

The population and size is also not evenly distributed across zones. Jayanagar zone serves 56 sq km and some 11 lakh population whereas Mahadevapura zone covers 100 sq km and 4 Lakhs population.

Urban expert V Ravichandar who was one of the members of the BBMP Restructuring Committee welcomes the government’s decision of rezoning and says: “Moving from eight zones to 10 zones is embracing decentralisation. Decentralisation essentially means shrink the distance between the government, government officers, government institutions and the citizens who expect service from the set up.”

As a result of rezoning, he says each officer will have fewer citizens under his ward/zone which helps to provide better services by reducing the workload. Decentralisation will help citizen services.

“In fact in our restructuring committee report we had suggested five corporations and 10 zones,” he says.

When asked if this would lead to operational changes in terms of road and waste management, he says the challenge before the government now is to find the right manpower and additional staff for two new zones. “Quality of staff to administer the new zones is as important as the quantity of staff,” he notes.

Even as he welcomes the move, he says rezoning will not change the functioning of the BBMP overnight. “I see it more as a journey. It (rezoning) has to be seen as a process of building institutional structure and people.”

Then what is the status of the BBMP restructuring committee report which gave multiple recommendations for splitting the city corporation?

The restructuring committee report is still awaiting the President’s assent. The Karnataka Governor had forwarded the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Bill 2015 that aims at dissolving the BBMP and carve out two or more new corporations, to the President for his approval. Though there is said to be some communication happening between the State and the Centre on this issue, the President is yet to give the assent.

Ravichandar says, even if the Bill receives the President’s nod, it is going to be a long process. “After the President’s approval, the State should take decision on the number of corporations to be formed. And a Separate Bill has to be passed to create Greater Bengaluru Authority that will manage multiple corporations.”

The zones

Do you want to know under which zone your ward will fall? Here is the list.

 

Zone

Assembly Constituency

Ward

Yelahanka zone

Yelahanka, Byatarayanapura

Wards 1 to 11

Dasarahalli zone

Dasarahalli, Yeshwantpur

12, 13, 14, 15, 39, 40, 41, 70, 71, 72, 130, 159 and 198

Sarvajnanagar

K R Puram, Sarvajnanagar, CV Raman Nagar

23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 79, 80, 81, 87, 88, 113

Mahadevapura

Mahadevapura

54, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 149, 150

Bommanahalli zone

Bommanahalli, Bengaluru South

174, 175 and all the wards from 184 to 197

RR Nagar zone

RR Nagar, Mahalakshmi Layout

16, 17, 37, 38, 42, 43, 44, 67, 68, 69, 73, 74, 75, 102, 129, 160

Jayanagar zone

Shanthi Nagar, BTM Layout, Jayanagar, Padmanabha Nagar

89, 111, 112, 114, 115, 116, 117, 146, 147, 148, 151, 152, 161, 165 to 183 (except 174, 175)

Malleswaram

 

Pulikeshinagar, Hebbal, Malleswaram, Shivajinagar

18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 31 to 36, 45 to 48, 60 to 66, 76, 78, 90, 91, 92, 93 and 110

Gandhinagar zone

Chikpet, Gandhinagar, Chamarajpet, Basavangudi

77, 94, 95, 96, 109, 118, 119, 120, 121, 135 to 145, 153 to 156, 162, 163 and 164

Vijayanagar zone

Rajaji Nagar, Govindaraja Nagar, Vijaya Nagar

97 to 108 (except 102), 122 to 128, 131, 132, 133, 134, 157 and 158

It will anyway take sometime for BBMP to actually have these 10 zones in place, for it needs to have staff, buildings and infrastructure to run the administration. But we can only hope that whatever is being done helps the city.

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