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Kasturirangan Committee

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Urban DevelopmentGovernance

November, 2007
Panel will chisel out city’s growth strategy
ToI via bangalorebuzz

Noted space scientist and Rajya Sabha member K Kasturirangan will head the expert committee constituted by the Karnataka government to suggest strategies to ensure planned growth of the city under Greater Bangalore. The committee will work on a new comprehensive law that will deal with the development and regulation of the Bangalore Metropolitan Region (BMR) that has been witnessing rapid economic and demographic growth.

Members of the Kasturirangan committee
K Kasturirangan,
scientist and Rajya Sabha member
A Ravindra former chief secretary and deputy chairman of the State Planning Board ,
Samuel Paul Public Affairs Centre chairman,
S Sadagopan founder-director of International Institute for Information Technology-Bangalore and
Sivaramakrishanan retired bureaucrat .

Guidelines for the committee
* Review the administrative structure and legal framework operative within the BMR. This includes appraisal of the role and functional responsibilities of urban local bodies.
* To make recommendations regarding the structure of the new legal framework for governance in the BMR which will cover all ULBs and also other organisations such as BDA, BMRDA, BWSSB.
* Spell out the coordination mechanism and accountability of such bodies.
* Recommend alternative models for effective governance in accordance with the tenets of the 74 Constitutional Amendment Bill.
* Refer the recommendations of the committee on Urban Management of Bangalore (1997) and suggest those that can be adopted with or without modifications.

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tsubba's picture

Recommendations

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Source: Deccan Herald (Direct poll for mayor proposed), The Hindu (Panel for ‘paradigm shift’ to address Bangalore’s challenges), ToI(BBMP may open doors to non-officials)

The expert committee on governance in the Bangalore Metropolitan Region and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), headed by K. Kasturirangan submitted its report to Governor Rameshwar Thakur on Saturday. The recommendations will come into force after approval by the State Cabinet. Implementation of the recomendations requires amendments to certain acts, which the committee estimates could be done during a period of three months.

Recommendations
Setup of an umbrella body called metropolitan planning committee (MPC) which will function as a planner and coordinator of functions of the various existing municipal bodies. In effect, the MPC would have overriding powers over “all other plans developed by other State functionaries and local bodies” within the wider metropolitan region.

MPC should govern over Bangalore Metropolitan Area(BMA) - over 8000 sq km covering Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural and Ramanagara districts.

63 members in the MPC. 43 elected. 21 nominated. (thats what the hindu says)
Of the 21 nominated, 10 may be MLAs, MPs and MLCs.

The MPC should prepare a Metropolitan budget based on plans and estimates prepared by various stakeholders. The committee recommended the financial power of BBMP must be reviewed comprehensively for maximum autonomy. Present requirements of referring proposals to the State government to incur expenditure above certain threshold is cumbersome and unnecessary.

It noted that the failure to establish a Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC) was a “continuing breach of the requirements of the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution.”

The Mayor & the Commisioner
To enable the emergence of leadership and accountability among politicians, a mayor directly elected by the people for a term of five years would be ideal for governance of the Bangalore region.

This will accord the powers of a chief minister to the mayor as he will be the executive head and the commissioner’s post will be similar to that of the chief secretary, the report said.

Recommending that the mayor should be assisted by mayoral committee of eight members chosen from among elected and nominated councillors, the committee has suggested that the KMC Act should be suitably amended to provide for this. The number of standing committees needs to be redefined.

As the mayor will not be eligible to participate in the corporation council, the corporation should elect the chairman of the council to act as a presiding officer. The BBMP commissioner should be selected by a high power search committee in consultation with the Mayor.

The search committee can advertise for the position by specifying the qualifications and experience necessary for the job and invite applications from as wide a spectrum as possible. The proposed move is expected to arrest the present tendency of BBMP commissioners being transferred and appointed on the whims and fancies of politicians.

"It's an open advertisement. Professionals with suitable background and urban planners with prescribed qualifications can apply for the post. Even bureaucrats can apply," according to committee member and deputy chairman of state planning board A Ravindra.

Agencies
The recommendations imply a changed role for the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). The committee contemplates that the BDA’s role in the new scheme would require it to concentrate on developing the infrastructure in the metropolis, leaving the regulatory role to the BMRDA. It recommended that the Land use planning should be integrated with economic, social and environmental planning. The elected urban local government should be given overall control over the use of lands within the territorial jurisdiction.

BMLTA should be strengthened. BMTC jurisdictions should be extended to cover the entire Bangalore region. The water board jurisdictions should be enlarged to cover the whole metropolitan region.  A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) should be established under the joint ownership of BWSSB and BBMP to manage the retail distribution of water supply. Operations and maintenance of sewerage can also be handed over to the SPV.

All primary, secondary and high schools presently administered by the State government within the BBMP jurisdiction should be transferred to BBMP. The funds allocated for the capital and revenue costs for running these schools must be transferred to BBMP.

The committee has recommended information infrastructure unit as a permanent feature of planning functions of BMRDA and BBMP. It also recommended widening and deepening of e-governance model within BBMP.

The State government should accept and implement the recommendations made by the Administrative Reforms Commission and the BBMP should accept the same.

The government must also set up appellate tribunals to resolve municipal taxation and service disputes.

Legislations
There should be a separate new legislation for the BBMP so as to remove it from the purview of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act. Necessary changes must be carried out in BWSSB Act and should be renamed as the Bangalore Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Board Act.

The drafting of necessary amendments to above acts should be done in period of three months by entrusting the task to suitable agency.

tsubba's picture

my take

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i think it is important to get this done. it is more likely that a lot of second guessing by other experts will go on apart from politicians themselves figuring the game out and scuttling it. even if it may not be perfect, it is still a plan and something more than what we have right now. getting the recommendations of this implemented will mean more than seeking out that perfect/ideal solution. the recommendations are as good as it practically gets. 5 solid years of earnest implementation of this, the CTTP and BWSSB stated goals should amount to something. (will post the articles on the financial troubles and budgetary punery later) waiting for SB's reaction on this. as close as it gets to greater focus on blr, without blr being a UT or a separate state.
Naveen's picture

Kasturirangan Committee Report - Undoing failures at last ?

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Another committee & another set of recommendations !
Though this list of recommendations looks great on paper, will it be implemented & if it is, then will it deliver what is required ?

In the past, the no. of state /local institutions & parastatals have always been kept deliberatly high, perhaps to dilute authority & accountability, with the result that competitive mechanisms that deliver remain underdeveloped & have been stifled with rampant corruption.

So far, the prime responsibility for all aspects of urban/metropolitan issues has never been vested in one institution. Pieces of decision authority are spread across fragments - in addition to the state government, there is the UDD, BMRDA, BDA, LDA, KUIDFC - all of whom pursue some urban activities. To overcome this fragmentation, ad hoc agencies, such as Bangalore Agenda Task Force was created by the Krishna govt, which did some good work then. For transport issues, there is the Transport Advisory Forum, Task Force for Traffic & Transport, BMTC, BMRC & KRDC, all of whom seem to merely hold pieces of the pie.

In this forest of institutions, no single body has been able to make comprehensive policies or plans.

The formation of BMLTA is seen as a solution to all transport issues, at least, but so far, nothing much seems to have changed - or is it too early to draw conclusions ?

However, committees & reports have been as numerous as institutions - let's wait & see where this is headed.

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