George defends action group, says it will spur city’s development
Bengaluru (DHNS): City Development Minister K J George on Tuesday defended the formation of Bengaluru Blue Print Action Group (BBPAG), stating that it is only a panel to “give suggestions” for development of the city.
Addressing a press conference, he said the group would not become an “extra-constitutional” decision-making body as being suggested by some non-governmental organisations.
George said all suggestions made by the group would go before the Bangalore Metropolitan Planning Committee (BMPC), an executive body having statutory back-up and with elected representatives as members.
Agencies to implement
The decision taken at the BMPC will be implemented by agencies like the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) among others.
On the inclusion of industry leaders such as Azim Premji and N R Narayana Murthy and how can they relate to the problems faced by common people, George said they were not just from the corporate world but had also made significant contribution to society. The first meeting of the group will be held by the end of May, he added.
On Tuesday, the government issued a revised notification by including the mayor as well as urban expert Vivek Menon in the group.
The mayor had been left out of the group in the initial notification issued on April 28, leading to speculation that the Congress was not confident of retaining the mayoral post in the elections slated for later this year as it foresaw the BJP allying with the JD(S) to capture power.
George expressed confidence the BBPAG would stand legal scrutiny, stating that the opinion of the Advocate General and the Legal Department was taken before the group was set up.
The minister also said a committee for co-ordination among civic agencies was formed on February 18 this year to ensure smooth implementation of development works. The committee is headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and its members are heads of civic agencies in Bengaluru.