BBMP Council meeting postponed: Contractors Protest

BBMP Council meeting postponed: Contractors Protest

Submitted by Newseditor on Mon, 2015-11-30 19:45 Bengaluru: The BBMP Council meeting that was supposed to be the first council meeting for the newly elected Mayor Manjunath Reddy and the new Deputy Mayor, has been postponed in the backdrop of Code of Conduct set for the coming MLC Elections.While the council members and officers were present at the hall for the discussions for the day, the call came to postpone. The meeting was supposed to discuss several civic issues in Bengaluru like road irregularities, potholes and issues of corruption in civil works that was raised by opposition leader N Ramesh.However, at the same time BBMP contractors were seen protesting against the corporation and its council meeting.Opposing the delay in payment of pending bills for various works taken up in BBMP office premises, a section of contractors staged a protest in the premises. The protest occurred simultaneously, as opposition leader Padmanabha Reddy was holding a press interaction in connection with the same. Reddy said that BBMP officials had blatantly violated a High Court order and State government directions, which had instructed civic authorities to ensure that pending bills were cleared based on first serve basis. "However, BBMP officials have violated the directives and released bills to the tune of Rs 179 crore," he said. He blamed BBMP Commissioner and Chief Accounts Officer (CAO) for the same. While payment of works taken up in 2013 are yet to be completed, BBMP authorities appear to be proactive in clearing pending bills of three assembly constituencies. Most of the funds released are for clearing bills pertaining to Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Yelahanka and K R Puram constituencies, he alleged. When the payments were being cleared, about Rs 8 to 9 crores of money was paid as “commission” at CAO’s office. The State Government should take action against both Commissioner and CAO, he said. "The decision, which is against High Court and State Government guidelines will amount to contempt of court. Whoever is responsible for releasing the funds should be punished, failing which BJP will press contempt charges," he said. Meanwhile, a section of contractors staged a demonstration inside BBMP premises, alleging irregularities in payment of pending bills. They complained that the online system designed to clear bills was not working properly and payments were being made in a random manner. "There are people who are yet to receive payment for works done two to three years ago, while others are receiving payments for works they completed only a few months ago," the protestors said. BBMP Commissioner Kumar Nayak, who met the protestors assured that issues pertaining to online payment of bills would be sorted out soon. The protestors also laid siege to the Mayor's office, citing similar demands.