The Karnataka government passed a crucial bill — Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Bill, 2020 — without the opposition parties’ participation in the Assembly session on Thursday.
Piloting the BBMP Bill, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J. C. Madhuswamy said the Bill is not only aimed at increasing the wards from 198 to 243 but also including all local bodies situated on the fringes of the 816 sq. km boundary of the BBMP.
The BBMP Bill is aimed at the inclusion of at least a one km area beyond the existing BBMP limits to bring in IT pockets from outside the existing limits like parts of Electronics City and some IT parks outside Mahadevapura. This is expected to boost the civic body’s revenues.
Taking umbrage over the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tabling and passing the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill - 2020, popularly known as the Anti-Cow Slaughter Bill, without mentioning it in their agenda, the Opposition Congress boycotted the Legislature session while the Janata Dal (Secular) staged a walkout from the Assembly.
“We have not fixed any limit though the report tabled on Wednesday maintained one km as a limit, though in the Act there is no limit but we are fixing the local body as a unit to be merged into the BBMP limits," Madhuswamy said.
Madhuswamy disclosed that the terms of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor have been increased from one year to two-and-a-half years.
The main reason behind increasing the number of wards is to simplify administration and each Assembly constituency should have only three or four wards instead of six to eight wards as at present, he added.
The Minister said the number of zones would be increased from eight to 15.
The Bill also aims at the inclusion of gram panchayats and taluk panchayats into the new larger BBMP.
When this BBMP Bill was tabled in March, it was referred to a Joint Committee after several city MLAs, including those from the BJP, opposed it. The committee decided to refer it to the 20-member Joint Select Committee in August headed by BJP MLA S. Raghu.
The panel which has recommended 243 wards tabled its report in the Assembly on Wednesday.