It’s official: Bangalore Mayor has no role in planning the city

Alright, you are the mayor of Bangalore, i.e. the official head of city government. Yet, you cannot get into the city’s new metropolitan planning committee, but your fellow councillors can! That’s the state government’s slap in the face for you!

As many as 20 members were chosen from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for Bangalore Metropolitan Planning Committee (BMPC). However, newly elected Mayor Shanthakumari does not exist in the list. Former mayor B S Satyanarayana too did not make it to the premier list.

Metropolitan Planning Committee is the planning body for every metropolitan area mandated by the constitution, which should have hyper-local level peoples’ representatives as its members, in addition to subject experts and executives from the government. This will plan the infrastructure requirements and land use for the city. After a High Court directive, Bangalore is now in the process of getting this committee.

Bangalore Regional Commissioner Gaurav Guptha announced the names for BMPC on September 15. Eighteen corporators have been chosen unanimously, with no election. Two members from the rest of panchayats from the Bangalore Metropolitan area also have been selected unanimously.

The rules framed for MPC made it clear that mayor per se will not have any place in the committee, but has to contest elections along with other corporators if he/she wants to be in it. This election being the first one, many corporators were not aware of MPC formation.

Mayor Shanthakumari was unavailable for comment.

‘No competition among corporators’

Devika Rani Sridhar, S K Garden Corporator (Congress) who has been selected as an MPC member, said that leaders from Congress party including district incharge minister Ramalinga Reddy selected the members. There was no competition among members as everything was pre-determined.

N Jayapal, Malleshwaram Corporator (Congress), said that all corporators were aware of the process of MPC election, but the members were carefully chosen by all parties in order to avoid election. Currently there are 10 members from BJP, six from Congress and two from JD(S).

N R Ramesh, Yediyur Corporator (BJP), said that the members were selected on the basis of strength of each party in the BBMP. BJP that had 113 members got 10 seats, while Congress that had 65 members got 6 seats. JD(S) had only 15 members, but was given two seats. Mayor could have contested if she wanted to, but she did not, he clarified, adding that the party leaders selected the members, so there was no scope for any competition or dispute.

Members from BBMP limits:

  1. T Thimmegowda (156 – Srinagar corporator – JD(S))
  2. L Nagarathna (102 – Vrushabhavathi Nagar corporator – JD(S))
  3. C K Ramamurthy (168 – Pattabhirama Nagar – BJP)
  4. N R Sridhar Reddy (85 – Doddanakkundi – BJP)
  5. B Govinda Raju (24 –  HBR Layout – BJP)
  6. Dr K N Geetha Shashikumar (3 – Attur corporator – BJP)
  7. B S Manjunatha Reddy (175 – Bommanahalli corporator – BJP)
  8. M Udayashankar (144- Siddapura corporator – Congress)
  9. M K Gunashekhar (63 – Jayamahal corporator – Congress)
  10. Devikarani Sridhar (61- S K Garden corporator – Congress)
  11. R S Satyanarayana (77 – Dattatreya Temple corporator – Congress)
  12. O Manjunath (185 – Yelachenahalli corporator- Congress )
  13. K Doddanna (132-Attiguppe corporator – Congress)
  14. A H Basavaraj (180 – Banashankari corporator- BJP)
  15. P N Sadashiva (142 -Sunkenahalli corporator- BJP)
  16. Dr S Raju (124 – Hosahalli corporator – BJP)
  17. Manjunatha Raju (65- Kadu Malleshwara corporator – BJP)
  18. S Dayanand (50 – Bennigana Halli corporator – BJP)

Members from rest of Bangalore – Panchayats:

  1. Amaresh Reddy, Yamare, village panchayat
  2. Chikka Raju, vice president, Kumbalagodu village panchayat

How long will the members last?

Sitting members of legislative assembly in the Bangalore region will automatically become the invitees for the meetings of BMPC, though they have no voting rights. Voting rights are given only to the elected members from BBMP and the Panchayaths, and the nominated members.

Interestingly, the term of all these 20 elected members will end on April 23, 2015. Hence, the members elected will not last longer than seven months. This is because the MPC is being formed in between the term of the existing BBMP council. Otherwise the term of an elected member is the same as his / her tenure in the office to which he is elected.

So in this case, fresh elections need to be declared, once the new local body members are selected. While Gram Panchayat elections won’t be a problem, BBMP elections depend on whether Bengaluru will be split into multiple cities. Current rules for the number of members have been framed keeping in mind the existing number of peoples’ representatives. Any change in the constitution of BBMP will probably need a re-look towards the rules too.

Now the announcement of special expert members is the only procedure remaining in the formation of a full-fledged committee. Members of earlier vision groups from the government are expected to make it to the list.

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