Bengaluru: City legislators have raised an alarm over a recent circular issued by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa scrapping all approvals given to the Budget passed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) in February.
They said halting the budget would be a retrograde step and sought an appointment with the chief minister to apprise him of the matter and request him to not stop ongoing work.
“Stopping works like this and the budget itself would affect Bengaluru’s development. We have put in so much of money to improve roads, garbage disposal, stormwater drains (SWD), drinking water and flyovers. All this is important for the city. Six months have gone by and if we delay this further, then the year gets wasted,” said Gandhinagar MLA and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao.
The fate of more than 50 projects that have been commissioned over the past few months stands in a limbo, even though work orders may have already been issued. A special grant given by the previous Siddaramaiah government to Bengaluru city of Rs 7.5 crore has also been put on hold by Yediyurappa.
The order has even put a stay on funds being used under the CM’s Bangalore Development Fund. In a letter addressed to the additional chief secretary of the urban development department, the CM has said the approval of the BBMP's budget given by the previous Congress-JD(S) was against the law.
“It was brought to my notice that on May 22, the department had approved the BBMP’s revised budget for 2018-19 as well as the budget estimate for the 2019-20 financial year. This was against the law as it was not approved by the cabinet,” he wrote.
It also clarified that no further job codes/tenders shall be called for, until the new yet-to-be-formed cabinet approves it.
Social activist and author Tara Krishnaswamy said the newly formed government's move was an example of "administrative interference".
"Local governments do not report to state governments just as state governments do not report to the central government. They are their own tiers. A budget duly passed by the Bengaluru municipal corporation (BBMP) has no need for arbitrary intervention by state," Krishnaswamy wrote on Twitter.