Bengaluru Buzz: Property tax hike planned | 65,000 buildings yet to have RWH | Peenya units flout pollution norms

BBMP plans to hike property tax, most industrial units in Peenya found contaminating groundwater and soil, BWSSB takes stock of rainwater harvesting systems - read more on what made news in Bengaluru over the past week


BBMP plans property tax hike

BBMP may hike property tax rates anywhere between 15 to 30 percent this financial year. This plan comes soon after a power tariff hike and a proposed water tariff hike in the city.

S P Hemalatha, Chairperson of the BBMP Standing Committee on Taxation and Finance, said that the last property tax revision was three years back, in 2016. She said that BBMP was facing a fund deficit of over Rs 1200 crore, and hence they decided to hike property tax which was the Palike’s main revenue source. As per the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, property tax can be revised every three years.

According to various news reports, the BBMP administration has proposed tax hike in the range of 20-30 percent for residential and commercial properties. The proposal is now before the BBMP Council, and will be discussed in the next Council meeting. However, the opposition BJP members in the Council have decided to reject the plan.

Source: The Hindu |The News Minute

Over 75% industrial units in Peenya flout pollution norms

More than three-fourths of the units spewing effluents in Peenya Industrial Estate have violated the six-point conditions mandated by Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB). KSPCB officials, on inspection, had found that these units were degrading soil and groundwater in the area.

KSPCB had mandated surface industries – such as galvanising, electroplating and pharmaceuticals – to follow six conditions, to reduce effluent run-off and leaching into the soil. The conditions include having impervious flooring in chemical processing areas, an effluent collection tank above ground, regular leak tests, installing scrubbers, recording water consumption and effluent generation, and primary treatment of effluents before disposing these to a Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP).

The KSPCB report shows that only 62 out of 206 units had complied with these conditions. More than half the industries did not treat their effluents before shifting these to a CETP or private tanker. And over 40 industries did not conduct leak tests or have scrubbers.

KSPCB’s inspection was part of an action plan to control pollution. The action plan had been approved just last month by the central and state Pollution Control Boards, for the five critically-polluted industrial clusters in the state.

Source: The Hindu |Asianet Newsable

RWH not implemented in over 65,000 buildings

As of this May, 1.2 lakh buildings in the city have rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems, while another 65,464 buildings do not, according to the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). RWH was made compulsory for residential and commercial buildings as per Section 72-A of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage (Amendment) Act, 2009.

Since February 2017, the Board has collected fine of around Rs 3 cr from violators, but this has not prompted defaulters to comply, say officials. The defaulters are mostly owners of residential buildings, especially independent houses.

Source: Bangalore Mirror

Over 50% positions in BBMP vacant

BBMP has 9243 vacancies, and is working with just 48.4 percent of its staff strength. According to the vacancy report as of May, BBMP’s current strength is only 8700 whereas it has 17,493 sanctioned staff positions.

The maximum vacancies are in Group D category, for professionals like masons, supervisors, lift operators and pourakarmikas. In this category, BBMP has 11,705 sanctioned positions, but only 4714 of these are staffed. The main reason for vacancies seems to be the delay in recruitment and approval processes, which can take up to three years.

Source: Bangalore Mirror

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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