The first BJP-led BBMP council is expected to present their maiden budget within the next fortnight. In this light, about 20 days ago, a group of like-minded citizens from across Bengaluru presented a memorandum to Mayor S K Nataraj, listing their proposals to include in the budget. This was in the presence of BBMP Commissioner H Siddaiah and Chairman of BBMP’s Finance Committee, P N Sadashiva.
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The memorandum states that any BBMP budget should have a force or a thrust and that this year’s focus could be on making Bangalore ‘garbage-free’.
The following are some of the proposals in the memorandum.
Administration and citizen participation
- Administrative restructuring of BBMP – Roles and responsibilities of departments to be defined and training for junior officers
- Computerization of all BBMP offices, citizen help centers and Bangalore one centers in each ward
- Adequate and skilled professionals should be hired as required in BBMP. It is difficult to function with the same staff strength of the erstwhile BMP as now BBMP is a much larger area with greater population. Private consultants/professionals can be utilized as required on a contract basis instead of utilizing engineers from the public works department. All the officers are to be made accountable
- Envisage the involvement of registered resident welfare organisations (RWA) and civic organizations to monitor projects of the ward and conduct programs
- Public consultation to be held before any major projects or new rules are implemented
- Pilot project on solid waste management and garbage management in all 28 assembly constituencies. Enforcing citizens to separate wet and dry waste at source. This will generate income to BBMP
- Replace double pole transformers with single pole ones, which will help save space and also ensure safety
- Improvement of BBMP hospitals and schools and public-private partnership
- A shelter for stray dogs on the outskirts of the city. Also encourage pet-loving citizens to adopt stray dogs.
- Penalize those who stick posters and advertisements on trees, walls and electric poles
- IT companies can be charged a city improvement cess (say 0.1 to 1.0 %) of their income. These companies can also be roped in for major programs under corporate social responsibility
- Continue prevailing SAS (Self Assessment for calculation of taxes) system slab for residential properties for another two years
- Collect 100% property tax and maintain a property tax register (This may require more staff or it could be outsourced to agencies used by banks to recover loans). This will significantly increase the corporation’s revenue
Roads and transport
- A practical sustainable solution to the storm water problem needs to be implemented as soon as possible and possibility of using the stone slab-covered drains for parking. Eg Double road
- Adequate parking in upcoming Metro Stations
- A motor vehicle tax can be charged every year or a vehicle tag (renewable every year) can be introduced for vehicle owners who own more than any two vehicles. Even as this comes under the purview of Regional Transport Offices (state government-run), the BBMP can discourage ownership of more than one vehicle and people’s reliance on private vehicles
- a) Do not regularize those establishments that have converted basement parking for commercial purposes. Instead levy heavy taxation on them
b) Parking cess to be levied on those establishments who have not provided parking facilities in their buildings