Karnataka govt sets up four panels to probe award of BBMP works during BJP rule
Four committees headed by IAS officers has been set up by the Karnataka government to investigate the alleged irregularities in the Bengaluru civic body, the BBMP, during BJP rule in the state from 2019 to 2023.
In its order, the Urban Development Department of the Karnataka government said that there were many complaints by citizens, public representatives, media and contractors about “widespread corruption” in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the city civic body.
The complaints pertained to irregularities in bill payment, tenders and public works, the order said.
The four committees
The first committee headed by Ujjwal Kumar Ghosh will probe the alleged irregularities in solid waste management. Retired chief engineers of Public Works Department (PWD) Captain R R Doddihal, Basavaraj Koti and Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited Assistant Executive Engineer T Prabhakar have been appointed as members.
Amlan Aditya Biswas will lead the panel to investigate alleged corruption in major road works and permissions granted to lay optical fibre cables. It will have two retired PWD chief engineers Prabhakar D Hammige and K Mohan, retired general manager of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Jwalendra Kumar and two retired PWD executive engineers Basavaraj Saunshimath and N S Mohan as members
According to the order, a panel headed by Dr P C Jaffer will look into the alleged irregularities in major stormwater drains and design approval in BBMP’s town planning department. It will comprise retired EICR secretary S B Siddagangappa, retired PWD chief engineer H R Ramakrishna and retired PWD executive engineer Mallesh as members.
The fourth committee led by Dr Vishal R will investigate alleged irregularities in lake development, works taken up under Smart City project and ward level works. This committee will have five members retired PWD chief engineer Beese Gowda, three retired PWD executive engineers H P Prakash, Srikanth, H Kumar and retired assistant executive engineer G S Gopinath.
The order said that these committees will see whether statutory compliances were sought while undertaking the works. They will also investigate whether the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act was complied with while awarding contracts and carrying out works.
Irregularities in calling tenders and giving contracts, such as tampering with documents, should also be investigated, according to the order. The committees will see whether the works were taken up properly without necessitating spending money on their maintenance. Also, they will probe whether unwanted works were carried out in the city.
The committees will see what the original work orders were and how they were executed. The initial costs of the projects and price escalation will also be probed.