Palike Bhavan proposal hangs in a balance

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BBMPBangalore, October 29:  The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) plan to construct a Palike Bhavan has been revived. Ironically, the proposal to construct it at an estimated cost of Rs. 400 crore on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis, which was placed before the BBMP council, was booed down by the BJP councillors themselves.

It was first opposed by Janata Dal (S) Floor Leader R. Prakash. He said the BBMP must rethink construction of the bhavan, especially since the government is contemplating bifurcating or trifurcating the civic body in order to improve administration.

Similarly, S.R. Vishwanath, Yelahanka MLA, objected to the construction being taken up on a PPP basis. “How will anyone come forward if it isn’t financially viable for them? Those willing to participate will expect some commercial returns. Since the building is coming up at in the BBMP headquarters, the construction should be taken up by it (BBMP) alone or with government assistance. I am ready to contribute Rs. 50 lakh from my funds for this purpose,” he said.

Concurring, former Mayor S.K. Nataraj and Dr. Rajkumar ward councillor Gangabyraiah said that the BBMP could seek help from the government, instead of going the PPP way. “The Palike Bhavan should be a historical building. With PPP, it will become a commercial complex. We must rethink this proposal,” Mr. Gangabyraiah said.

Former Opposition Leader M. Udayshankar said there was no space for parking even for councillors’ vehicles. “More than a bhavan, the BBMP must look to solving the parking problem here,” he said.

Hosahalli councillor S. Raju suggested that the funds (tax payers’) money be better utilised by taking up construction of general hospitals, instead of a Palike Bhavan.

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