Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike

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Introduction Structure - General, POR Responsibilities - General, POR
Information - General, POR Constraints - General, POR Stormwater - General, POR
Roads - General, POR Alignment, POR Construction Bidding, POR
Design, POR Construction, POR Quality Assurance, POR
Quality Control, POR Maintenance, POR Pedestrian Crossings, POR
Under-, over- passes, POR ROBs, RUBs, POR Road side - Kerbs, POR
Footpaths, POR Drains, POR Bus Stops, POR
Street Furniture, POR Streetlights, POR  
Buildings - General, POR Garbage - General, POR  
Footnotes References  

{modified 2009.12}


Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is a municipal government organization or an Urban Local Body (ULB) that is responsible for the administration of the Bengaluru Metropolitan (or Greater Bengaluru) region. Bangalore Mahanagara Palike was established in the year 1949 by merging two municipalities, ‘The City Area’ and ‘The Cantonment Area’, and administered the city of Bangalore with a population of 750,000 (7.5 lakhs). The jurisdiction kept increasing over the years to reach 100 wards in 1995. It was again increased in the year 2007 by including 7 City Municipal Councils (Rajarajeshwari, Dasarahalli, Bommanahalli, Krishnarajapuram, Mahadevapura, Byatarayanapura and Yelahanka), 1 Town Municipal Council (Kengeri) and 110 villages [1] to form the BBMP on 16th January 2007 [2].
The BBMP serves an approximate area of 800 sq. kms, an approximate population of 7.8 million (78 lakhs) [3] and was comprised of 147 wards (or city localities). That ward notification was allowed to lapse and the number of wards has been increased to 198 [4] with an allowance to increase the number of wards to a maximum of 200. The ward list [5] and map showing the wards [6, 7] have been provided online for the public's convenience.
{created 2009.10}


The BBMP represents the third level of government, (the Central and State Governments being the first two levels) and is run by a city council that comprises corporators (or elected representatives) with one corporator representing each ward of the city [8]. Elections to the council are held once every 5 years, with results being decided by popular vote. Members contesting elections to council typically represent one or more of the state's political parties though they may also be independent (Similar to the MLAs for State or MPs for Central elections). Elections to the newly-created body are yet to be held, due to delays in delimitation of wards and finalising voter lists. Elections (delayed multiple times [9]) are tentatively scheduled to be held in 2009. A mayor and deputy mayor of the council are also elected for a period of 1 year, though not by popular vote. The post of the mayor and deputy mayor are filled through a quota system to a Scheduled Castes and Tribes candidate or to an Other Backward Class candidate or Other Backward Class female candidate from among the elected Councillors (needs citation). However, in the absence of an elected body, the BBMP is at present run by an Administrator and a Commissioner, who are appointed by the State Government. The current Commissioner is Mr. Bharatlal Meena - he is an IAS officer (outdated information at [10]).
{created 2009.10}

Praja observations and recommendations


Some more staff structure, filing system and expenditure information are available [11] but are outdated as of this writing (October 2009). Most of the organization information [12] is outdated and needs update [13]. Some new project-work [14] information is available and a limited web-based project management system [15] has also been started. The online RTI system [16] has been updated with some information in English and other areas in Kannada - it is unclear if all the information has been uploaded. BBMP appears to be seriously leveraging information technology across its departments [17, 18] but the access of effective and updated information to the public is still limited.


1) Minor tweaks (like correcting typos) still need to be performed on the RTI site.
2) The BBMP needs to put of all information at least bi-lingually in English and Kannada to help the majority of the people in a cosmopolitan city like Bengaluru.
3) A website with clear and updated information has many advantages and needs to be maintained on a continuous basis.
{modified 2009.11}


The obligatory and optional functions of ULB are listed below. The 12th Schedule of the Constitution of India (Article 243 W), inserted by the constitution 74th Amendment Act of 1992, provides a list of 18 functions as belonging to the legitimate domain of Urban Local Bodies [19].
1) Urban Planning including town planning;
2) Regulation of land use and construction of buildings;
3) Planning for economic and social development;
4) Roads and bridges;
5) Water Supply for domestic, industrial and commercial purposes;
6) Public health, sanitation, conservancy and Solid Waste Management;
7) Fire services;
8) Urban forestry, protection of the environment and promotion of ecological aspects;
9) Safeguarding the interests of weaker sections of society, including the handicapped and the mentally retarded;
10) Slum improvement and upgradation;
11) Urban Poverty Alleviation;
12) Provision of urban amenities and facilities such as parks, gardens and play grounds;
13) Promotion of cultural, educational and aesthetic aspects;
14) Burials and burial grounds, cremations, cremation ghats/grounds, and electric crematoria;
15) Cattle pounds, prevention of cruelty to animals;
16) Vital statistics including registration of birth and deaths;
17) Public amenities including street lighting, parking lots, bus stops and public conveniences;
18) Regulation of slaughter houses and tanneries
It is also the responsibility of the ULB to co-ordinate between the different service delivery institutions.
{created 2009.10}

Praja observations and recommendations


It should be noted that some of the functions noted above are partially or completely performed by other parastatal agencies [1006, 1007, 1012] and some functions not included above are being undertaken by the BBMP. Parastatal agencies are quasi (state) government organisations or an organ of the state government often with a minister in-charge; hence the BBMP has no control over them and cannot penalize or impose their will on them as it would be similar to going against the state government. Some examples of functions by other agencies are illustrated below:
i) Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) - partial town planning (layout planning) including provision for parks, playgrounds and construction of some roads, bridges.
ii) Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) - Water supply and sewerage treatment.
iii) Fire department - fire services.
iv) Forest department - urban forestry.
v) Lake Development Authority (LDA) - management of select lakes.
vi) Bengaluru Traffic Police - management of traffic - road signs, signals, traffic violations, parking violations.

BBMP functions not listed but being (or need to be) performed [20].
a) Storm water management [21].
b) Numbering of streets and premises.
c) Timely assessment and collection of property tax, advertisement tax, fees, rents and other sums due.


1) Clear and non-overlapping mandates should be provided for different agencies so that there is no confusion nor duplication of efforts. An example is provided below [22]:
BWSSB can do the heavy investing, fixing charges (with public hearings), water distribution, sewerage collection and treatment. Or, water purification, distribution, sewerage collection/transportation and treatment can be "quadri"furcated (similar to electricity generation, T&D). An umbrella regulator can regulate all types of conservation including mandating and preserving wetlands, water retention/detention and so on (similar to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA [23] in the US), regulating hazardous waste (industrial, medical etc.), and deciding and enforcing penalties. Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is ideally suited to do that. Social obligations can be taken care of by a Social Dept. in govt. that provides subsidy cards (or coupons) that can be presented at any store, utility providers etc. to get products or services at subsidised rates.
Praja is aware that the rules are framed/amended by the state government; it is earnestly hoped that the BBMP can prevail over the government to amend the rules as required so that BBMP and other agencies can turn more professional for the larger public good.
2) Every agency should coordinate and if necessary meet on a regular basis. Coordination leads to reduced cost to the taxpaying public and greater efficiency by preventing duplication of efforts. For example, there needs to be coordination before roads or footpaths are dug so that the digging is followed by re-laying of asphalt. This is one glaring example where invariably a newly-laid road is dug up and incorrectly filled back leading to great inconvenience.
3) Some of the best practices from the world (especially the developed world) need to studied, suitably adapted and implemented. The oft-repeated comparisons are valid - many of the SE Asian nations were more backward than Bengaluru in the 1950s and 60s have far surpassed the Bengaluru of today. This is in spite of being poorer and having a population explosion (similar to Bengaluru). An example is the encouragement of and widespread provision for pedestrians and bicycles in China [24, 25] - both modes are the most sustainable and have other numerous advantages.  With the advent of the Web, a wealth of information is available to peruse and Praja is more than willing to lend a hand with the document research.
4) Proper implementation and continued adherence to rules and time are the biggest boon to the public. All ideas come to a naught if any one of the above is lacking. Praja is aware [26, 27, 28] that the BBMP is aware of issues and would genuinely like to know the reason why the ideas and solutions don't get implemented on ground.
The ideas above have been comprehensively recommended by ABIDe and Kasturirangan Committee report [1006, 1007, 1010] and have been belatedly taken up by the state government though it does not seem like all the recommendations will be accepted [50]. Extract is posted below in case the article is lost:
Mayor’s tenure
The Kasturirangan Committee report, which was gathering dust, came up for discussion in the  sub-committee meeting.

One of the important recommendations of the Kasturirangan Committee is that the tenure of Mayor be extended from 11 months to five years as it is affecting the progress by not giving enough chance to the Mayor to execute his plans. But BWSSB minister Katta Subramanya Naidu opposed it. He was of the opinion that the tenure could be extended to two years.

The Kasturirangan Committee had recommended for the restructuring the legislative framework for the governing bodies of Bangalore metropolitan region like BBMP, BDA, BWSSB and BMRDA. The fallout of restructuring these bodies was discussed at length.

{source: Bangalore: DHNS (Deccan Herald News Service), 2009.10.14}
{created 2009.10}


Two of the biggest constraints facing the BBMP are lack of funds (most of the BBMP's income is from grants) and adequately skilled staff. A medium term fiscal policy has been prepared to address some of the shortcomings [19]. BBMP's per capita revenue and revenue income are on the lower side as compared to other cities in India.
{created 2009.10}

Praja observations and recommendations


The constraints faced by the BBMP manifest themselves as poor and ineffective infrastructure that is readily apparent to the citizens. Some of the biggest concerns of praja are enumerated below.
1) Projects are seldom finished on time [29].
2) Project standards are not commensurate with the knowledge possessed by technical BBMP staff. Some glaring examples include road bottlenecks due to poor planning [28a], inadequate "magic" boxes [30] and the annual flooding due to rains [31].
3) Quality control is poor to non-existent. Most of the roads in Bengaluru bear testimony to this fact.
4) Medium and long-term planning are lacking in addressing core problems effectively and in implementing sustainable solutions [32].
5) Bangalore One centers provide huge convenience to the public and are appreciated.
6) Any BBMP service that is computerized and increases efficiency and transparency is welcome by the citizens. The website [33] is a good example of a service that helps the public in understanding various requirements and functions.


1) The lack of funds can be addressed by studying best practices and alternate options [34] in various municipalities [35] around the world. With the advent of the Web a wealth of information is available that precludes expensive foreign study tours. Some ideas for augmenting revenue:
i) IT companies can be charged a city improvement cess (say 0.1 to 1.0 %) of their income as they do not pay taxes [8].
ii) Reducing (and trying to eliminate) corruption and nepotism; one way to do this is by increasing computerization and also providing a robust and up-to-date web presence. The web presence must include near real-time tracking of projects. This has the multiple advantages of increasing accountability, reducing corruption, indirect quality control due to public participation, increasing transparency and cutting down on the number of RTI applications.
iii) Ensuring quality control so that the design life of a project can be achieved; money is saved when the project need not be re-done multiple times in short periods.
iv) Widening the tax base (the Akrama-Sakrama law is an excellent step in that direction) and increasing the compliance percentage (may need hiring more staff or can probably be outsourced to the same agencies used by banks to recover loans) will significantly increase the revenue.
v) A motor vehicle tax can be charged every year or a vehicle tag [36] (renewable every year) can be introduced for vehicles. This serves the twin objectives of boosting revenue and discouraging people's reliance on private vehicles.
2) Adequate and skilled professionals should be hired as required. BBMP should lobby hard (just as the hardest-lobbying state governments get the best grants from the central government) for filling up the vacancies. It is understandably difficult to function with the same staff strength as the erstwhile BMP with a much larger area and population [19]. Private consultants can be utilized as required on a contract basis to augment technical capabilities of BBMP personnel. Continuing education of BBMP staff on a regular basis is also important to keep them updated.
3) Public private participation (PPP) can be encouraged so that BBMP is burdened less with implementation; the general trend in democracies is for government agencies to act as regulators and enforcers and leave the implementation to other agencies where possible.
{created 2009.10}

Individual Areas of Responsibility

Additional observations or recommendations are provided for BBMP's individual areas of responsibilities expanded below.
{created 2009.10}

Storm (or rain) water management

Water is an essential requirement for humans and hence its management is one of the fundamental requirements that needs to be sustainable and effective. Generally, the water supply and sanitation system in India [37] is poor to non-existent and this trend is reflected in the water supply and sanitation system in Bengaluru. BBMP has traditionally constructed storm water drains on the sides of roads that serve the function of collecting rain water and running them off to a low point and/or a lake [38, 39]. This system had been in place for a long time [40] and is obsolete and leads to pollution [41]; it has long ago been superseded by infiltration systems in the developed world [42].
{created 2009.10}

Praja observations and recommendations


The recent flooding of some parts of Karnataka State [43] and the annual flooding of Bengaluru [44] are grim pointers to the loss of life, property and resources to improperly managed storm water. Praja has had to put up with the recurring flooding each time it rains even in relatively smaller quantities. Some of the reasons (like encroachment downstream on the storm water drains) are out of BBMP's control but infiltration systems eliminate such problems completely and also have many advantages over conventional drain systems.


Sustainable solutions to the storm water problem need to be implemented as soon as practically possible. Some of the systems used with great results in developed countries are LID [45], and SUDS [46]. There are also some good articles (including some really technical information) on rainfall and runoff online that emphasize the usage of infiltration systems [47, 48]. Some of the important advantages of infiltration systems are:
i) The annual flooding and consequent loss of life and property is almost eliminated.
ii) Water recharging occurs at all locations - a corollary advantage is that bore wells need not go to a deeper depth.
iii) Pollutants are minimized and/or eliminated and hence contamination of lakes due to storm water is avoided.
iv) Problems due to encroachments and using the drains as garbage dumping grounds are eliminated.
An excellent summary of the disadvantages of the current system and the advantages of the infiltration system has also been discussed [49]. There are plenty of infiltration system options - BBMP can start implementing (or outsource the implementation or use PPP) them on a pilot basis and most likely immediately see benefits when the next rain occurs. The other municipalities around the state can follow BBMP's pioneering example (it might very well be an example for India-wide implementation too!).
{created 2009.10}


Roads comprise of various categories related to roads themselves and other elements that pertain to road side amenities. Bengaluru and Indian cities in general are in a unique situation where the population, population density and the number of economically poor people are high and hence the pedestrian + cheaper private vehicle + people using public transport population is also high. Bengaluru has poor (inadequate, poor quality) infrastructure for the citizens in general, be they pedestrians, cyclists, private or public vehicle users. The need is to adapt best practices and modify to suit and satisfy local requirements and be sustainable (no blind copying, true out-of-box and long-term thinking w/ vision etc.). Each of the road-related subcategories have been enumerated below as a separate category.
{created 2009.12}

Road Alignment


Road Construction

Construction is a broad discipline that consists of analysis/design, bidding, actual construction, quality control/assurance and maintenance - each one of these have been included as a main topic below. Some of the roads and road-related infrastructure are being built by other agencies (like the Bengaluru Development Authority - BDA) as they have the means and the BBMP is short of funds. It is unclear what expertise they have to evaluate the design/construction. It is better that the BBMP be the final authority.
{created 2009.12}

Road Construction Bidding

Praja observations and recommendations


The bidding for road construction (applicable to other projects too) is such that the lowest bidder is awarded the project [52].

Road Design


Road Construction


Road Quality


Road Quality Assurance


Road Quality Control

Testing and inspections.

Quality testing

Installer, manufacturer and testing agency qualifications.

BBMP has shortlisted 13 material testing laboratories for testing the quality of materials used in road construction [51].  Entire article is posted:
Call up any of the 13 approved Material Testing Laboratories in the City to ascertain if the road has been constructed without any quality control.
The BBMP has released a list of the 13 testing agencies which the citizens can consult to check quality of the developmental works.
Material testing
Citizens can take the material with prior approval from the supervising engineer to these companies as and when doubts about the quality arises.
“The supervising engineer just has to approve that the material has been taken from the ongoing project,” said a Palike official. While the BBMP has not fixed any charges, the rates for testing is believed to be placed at a nominal price.
Besides citizens, the material testing companies will also be used by all the eight BBMP zonal offices for keeping an eye on the quality of the projects in the city.
The 13 companies were shortlisted by the BBMP after inviting an Expression of Interest (EOI) from firms interested in providing the services.  According to the BBMP, the companies will be on their panel for quality checks for the next two years.
Govt, private companies
While the list has been approved by the BBMP chief, a clause has been inserted by the Palike in order to provide room for use of other Material Testing Agency, if found “necessary” for a particular project.
Out of the 13 testing agencies, three  are the government aided organisations:
National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) at K R Circle,
BMS College on Bull Temple Road and
UVCE in K R Circle.
The following are the ten private testing agencies:
1. Karnataka Test House, Yeshwantpur,
2. Struct Geo tech Research Laboratories, Banashankari III Stage, 
3. Civil Tech Labs, Mission Road,
4. Transport Training Institute and Consultancy, Indiranagar II Stage,
5. CIVIL-AID Technoclinic, N R Colony,
6. Gooly Consultancy Services, J P Nagar,
7. Sheetal Engineering Associates, Chamrajpet,
8. Niketan Consultants, BSK Stage I,
9. SGS Indian Private Limited , BTM Layout,
10. Preeti CAD Engineers, Jnana Bharathi
{source: Bangalore: DHNS (Deccan Herald News Service), 2009.11.04}
{created 2009.11}

Road Maintenance


Road Intersections

Road intersections are again a broad topic and include pedestrian-road vehicle, road-road and railway-road intersections. Each of the intersections are enumerated as a separate topic below. There are numerous types of road intersections; they have again been categorized under separate headers.
{created 2009.12}

Pedestrian crossings


Vehicles intersections

The different types of intersections for road vehicles are:

Underpasses and overpasses


Road / Railway intersections


Road side - Kerbs


Road side - Footpath


Road side - Drains


Road side - Bus stops


Road side - Street Furniture


Road side - Streetlights



BBMP provides permits and penalizes violators for both residential and commercial construction.
{created 2009.12}


BBMP is responsible for collection and clearance of garbage from residential and commercial properties and public spaces like roads, footpaths and parks.
{created 2009.12}

{Placeholder for other sub topics}

{Placeholder for BBMP engagement or RTI responses}


BBMP trivia

Budget estimates for 2008-09 [1001]
Action taken report for 2007-08 (in Kannada followed by English) [1002]
Budget 2007-08 [1003]
Wealth of old and new information [1004]
Storm water drains by BBMP [1005]
{created 2009.10}

Bengaluru governance

ABIDe Public Consultation Transcript - Governance of Bengaluru [1006]
ABIDe - Govern Bengaluru [1007]
ABIDe - all reports [1008]
Kasturirangan Committee report - executive summary [1009]
Kasturirangan Committee report - BBMP and governance [1010]
Kasturirangan Committee report - jurisdictions [1011]
Kasturirangan Committee report - parastatal agencies and BBMP [1012]
{created 2009.10}

Additional links

Land use planning [a] {can be used under Urban Planning}
{created 2009.10}


{modified 2009.11}

[1006] pp. 9-13,
[1010] Chap. 1 pp. 1-17, chap. 6 pp. 62-85, or
[1011] Annexure II pp. 125-152, or
[1012] Annexure II pp. 153-170, or
{created 2009.10}

{created 2009.10}

BBMP broke

437 users have liked.
Urban DevelopmentGovernance

  "Forget mega infrastructure projects, there is no money even for ward-level works,"

said an East Bangalore corporator. There are just five months left in the financial year, and the Palike has not made good on any of its promises. The funds that the Palike has in its kitty would only suffice to meet salary expenses and regular administration requirements, pointed out a senior opposition member in the BBMP council. "Routine expenses will take up nearly Rs500 crore," he said.

Serious problem - Main source of BBMP revenue: Property tax. Out of projected 1600crore only 800crore was realized. 500 crore for salaries and 300 crore left. So project budget is only 300 crores!!! and 500 crores gives us mud pits for roads, uncleared garbage, street dogs unlimited etc!!! What a bloody mess!

Why is BBMP broke - where is the money?

610 users have liked.
Urban DevelopmentGovernance

We are told that BBMP is broke, they have no money. How many of us know the reaon why. A growing city, with so much commerce (IT, BT and all) going on, how exactly would it be broke? No english is required to explain things, numbers always tell their story. One look at summary of receipts in BBMP 2010-2011 budget may tell us something, (pdf available on BBMP website, also see embedded below for convenience), so here are the items where 2009-2010 budgeted and revised estimates have the biggest gap, orderd the way BBMP listed in their budget, only items bigger than 20 crores, leaving out shortages on JNNURM grants.

Table below:

Receipt Item

2009-10 budget (lakhs)

2009-10 revised (lakhs)

Grant - Metro (BMRCL)



Grant – IDD



Grants from MLA - Development works



Grants - state finance commission grants



Beggary Cess



Health Cess



Library Cess



Improvement Charges



Khata Transfer charges



Infrastructure User charges



Service charge – central govt buildings



Service charges on cess collected on behalf of govt



Service charges on tax expemt properties



Property tax



Rents from shops &  commercial complexes



License fees – hoardings on BBMP land



User charges - Solid Waste Management



Building deviation regularization



Building license fees



Borrowing towards other works



Attaching/embedding below for reference - Receipts details from BBMP, from their website. BBMP 2010-11 Budget Receipts

Municipal Finance in India, RBI, Dec 2007.pdf1.01 MB
India Municipal Finance Study - ADB, 2009.pdf89.93 KB