Close on the heels of the Karnataka government appointing an administrator in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the joint select committee of the Karnataka legislature has recommended increasing the number of wards from 198 at present to 250.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Bill was tabled in the Assembly by the government in the previous session in March, but due to objections raised not only from the Opposition parties, but also from the ruling BJP, it was decided to form a joint panel to study it in detail.
The state government had constituted a 21-member committee, comprising both MLAs and MLCs, headed by BJP MLA S. Raghu, which tabled its special report in the Assembly on Tuesday.
The report strongly recommended amending Section 7(1)(a) of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976 as it states that currently the corporation shall consist of such number of elected councillors not being less than 30 and not more than 200 as the government may, by notification, determine.
The committee has recommended a suitable amendment to change the maximum limit from 200 to 250.
Even though the committee suggested that as the term of the elected members of BBMP has ended and elections should be held, but at the same time the committee also seeks extra time to examine various aspects mentioned in the BBMP Bill.
But considering the current circumstances, increased population in Bengaluru city and the geographical spread, the committee has recommended to the government to amend the act.
The term of the joint panel that is examining the BBMP Bill has been recently extended till November to submit its final report.
The panel also proposed that the city should be divided into 15 zones with each having a committee chaired by a zonal commissioner.
The term of the BBMP corporators ended on September 10 and elections are yet to be notified.
The state government has appointed senior IAS officer Gaurav Gupta as administrator until the new council for the civic body is elected.