BENGALURU: Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) record is mixed with allegations of corruption and scams. With the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) upping the ante, a flurry of cases have been filed against BBMP. After 2012, 412 cases have been filed by the BMTF against BBMP officials.
Many of these cases pertain to multi-crore scams that have been pointed out by the Technical Vigilance Committee (TVC) of the BBMP Commissioner. The biggest one was in 2012 when the body alleged irregularities since 2008-09 in at least 10,100 ward-level works in Malleswaram, Rajarajeshwarinagar and Gandhinagar Assembly constituencies involving Rs. 1,500 crore.
The sources said the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) had filed multiple chargesheets against the BBMP engineer-in-chief BT Ramesh and he was one of the accused in the Rs 1,500-crore scam.
Numerous such cases pockmark the tenure of the BBMP, and there seems to be no aspect of its function that is in the clear. In February 2015, BMTF booked three officials of the Finance Department for withdrawing Rs. 49 crore by forging documents. Nearly 149 works are in the scanner in this case alone. Two months later, 18 officials, including four joint commissioners, were booked after irregularities were detected in acquisition of Transferable Development Rights (TDR) for properties outside BBMP limits.
In May 2015, the alleged suicide of a 34-year-old sub-contractor revealed the seedy side of payment of dues owed by the corporation. Though financial reasons were purported to be the reason for the extreme step, his family had alleged that BBMP officials demanded a bribe to clear dues of Rs. 1 crore.
There is a uncontrolled corruption among the top BBMP officials. According to sources privy to the BBMP, there are many engineers and revenue inspectors who own properties worth crores of rupees disproportionate to their income. For instance, Yediyur ward corporator NR Ramesh, alleged that while the BBMP engineer-in-chief BT Ramesh’s earnings were about Rs 2 crore, his assets were worth close to Rs 300 crore.
Corporator Ramesh, while revealing the startling details, demanded the state government to inspect and seize the ill-gotten properties. “About 90% of the class one officials in the BBMP are corrupt and own properties disproportionate to their income,’’ he said.
One of the BBMP contractors said each contractor has to spend 3% of the total contract amount to get a work order. He said 1% of the total amount has to be given to the chief engineer and another 1% to the joint commissioner of the respective zone.
It is alleged that each contractor, after completing the work, has to pay 5-10% to the assistant executive engineer, 3-4% to the assistant works engineer, 1% to the chief engineer, and 2% to the executive engineer, to get the certificate for the completion of the work.
There is a website called, ipaidabribe.com – where users can complain of officials who demanded a bribe – notes more than 650 complaints pertain to the BBMP alone.