What is BBMP?
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 to form the BBMP on 16th January 2007.
The BBMP serves an approximate area of 800 sq. kms, an approximate population of 7.8 million (78 lakhs) 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 with an allowance to increase the number of wards to a maximum of 200. Each ward has 30,000 to 40,000 voters.
How is BBMP structured?
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 of corporators (or elected representatives) with one corporator representing each ward of the city. 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). A mayor and deputy mayor of the council are also elected for a period of 1 year, though not by popular vote. While the mayor heads the corporation in the legislative side, the executive powers are entirely exercised by the commissioner. This is a legacy of colonial times – when councillors were Indian nationalists whose power the Government limited by vesting executive authority with the commissioner – a career bureaucrat and government employee. Election in Bangalore has now been overdue for more than 2 years in violation of the provisions of the Constitution. However, in the absence of an elected body, the BBMP is at present run by an Administrator -- The Commissioner, who is appointed by the State Government. The current Administrator is Mr. Bharatlal Meena, an IAS officer.
What does the BBMP do?
Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is the city corporation of Bangalore. Recently several city and town municipal councils around Bangalore City have been included in the city limits of the BBMP. There were 100 wards earlier and now we have 198. Ward 151 includes most of Koramangala.
The BBMP under the Karnataka State Municipal Corporations Act 1976, amended last in 1994, has certain Obligatory functions and certain discretionary functions. These are summarized below:
Obligatory functions of Corporation
There are 31 obligatory functions listed in the Act – They include the following important functions
- Defining limits of Corporation
- Cleaning of public roads and places
- Clearing of sewage and garbage and disposal
- Construction, and maintenance and cleaning of drains
- Street lights
- Maintenance and account of corporation properties
- Naming and numbering of streets and buildings
- Regulation of trade
- Regulation of place for the dead
- Construction and maintenance of markets, slaughterhouses etc
- Ambulance services
- Destruction and control of stray dogs, birds vermin etc
- Maintaining or aiding public schools
- Construction of roads, bridges and culverts
- Tree planting
- Issue of birth and death certificates
- Maintenance of waterworks
- Issue of trade licenses
Discretionary Functions of Corporation
There are 21 functions listed as discretionary in the Act. Some of the important ones are:
- Care of the infirm and disabled
- Organization and maintenance of maternity homes
- Maintenance of lab for food testing
- Maintenance of public swimming pools
- Maintenance of public hospitals
- Welfare of corporation employees\
- Slum improvement
- Shelter to the poor
- Poverty alleviation
What is the role of the Councilor?
- The councillor has power to draw the attention of proper authorities to any neglect of the corporation works and misuse of funds
- Identifying needs of the ward he/she is elected from
- Participate in the administration of the corporation as stipulated by the Act.
- Participating in debate on budget – allocations to wards
What is a ward committee?
The 74th Constitutional amendment gave state Governments the option to form wards committees either for every single ward in the urban body or for a group of wards. Though the composition, territorial jurisdiction and the manner of filling up the seats in the wards committee was left to the state Governments, the amendment required the councilor of the ward to be an ex-officio member of the committee.
Under the KMC act, ward committees are to be constituted within a month of the election of the council. The ward committee would consist of:
- The councilors of the corporation representing the ward in the corporation
- Not more than 5 persons having knowledge and experience in municipal administration, nominated by the Government
- Not more than two members nominated by the Government from such NGOs and CBOs working within the area of the wards committee.
The ward committees that have been set up are not exactly what was envisaged. The members are appointed by the state Government and not necessarily either knowledgeable or concerned about the quality of services in the ward. We need to change that. We form citizens’ council that are representative of the ward, contain people who are knowledgeable about the ward and are willing to work closely with the councilor to monitor public services in the ward.
Courtesy: Smartvote Koramangla Site.