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Bureaucrats want BBMP’s 4 engineering wings ‘streamlined’ to 2 – but Karnataka CM unlikely to oblige

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Urban Development Department’s proposal to Yediyurappa to merge Projects with Road Infrastructure, and Lakes with Storm Water Drains, will make two BBMP Chief Engineers ‘redundant’

BENGALURU:

In an apparent move to streamline the engineering department of Bengaluru’s civic agency – and one which is seen as cutting BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta to size for recently making internal appointments of Chief Engineers without the requisite clearance from the government — the state’s Urban Development Department (UDD) has proposed to ‘streamline’ BBMP’s four major engineering wings. The idea is to merge Projects with Road Infrastructure, and Storm Water Drain with Lakes.

The UDD has already made the relevant proposal to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa (who as custodian of the city holds the portfolio for Bengaluru’s development).

As per sources in the CM’s Office, the post of Chief Engineer (Projects) will be merged with that of Chief Engineer (Road Infrastructure) and it will be renamed Chief Engineer (Connectivity). For the other major responsibility, the post of Chief Engineer (Lakes) will be merged with that of Chief Engineer (Storm Water Drains) and it will be renamed Chief Engineer (Water Conservation).

Chief Secy in favour

Sources said the UDD’s proposal has found favour with Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar, who has already spoken to the Chief Minister in this regard. But it won’t be a simple matter of the CM signing off on the file as Yediyurappa will necessarily be looking at the issue through a political prism rather than acceding to the bureaucrats’ proposal.

In the current scenario, Chief Engineer (Road Infrastructure) BS Prahallad has been given additional responsibility as Chief Engineer (Storm Water Drains), while BT Mohan Krishna, a Superintendent Engineer grade officer, has been given additional charge as Chief Engineer (Lakes). In a recent twist in BBMP’s administrative hierarchy, Chief Commissioner Faurav Gupta recently gave another Superintendent Engineer, M Lokesh, the additional responsibility of Chief Engineer (Projects). But Gupta is yet to send a proposal for ratification to the UDD on Lokesh’s and Mohan Krishna’s appointments.

Prahallad to preside over Rs 3,600 crore projects?

Sources have confirmed these developments to TheBengaluruLive, but have indicated that the CM is not likely to approve the UDD’s proposal.

If Chief Engineer (Projects) is merged with Chief Engineer (Road Infrastructure) and renamed Chief Engineer (Connectivity), Chief Engineer BS Prahallad will be handling Rs 3,600 crore worth of projects related to Bengaluru’s development for 2021-22.

These works include a Rs 100-crore outlay for fixing a major bugbear of Bengalureans – potholes. For the overall development of Bengaluru city, an action plan has been approved for works at a total cost of Rs 8,344 crore under the ‘Mukhyamantrigala Nava Nagarothana’ scheme. Work is already underway on projects worth Rs 7,831.56 crore.

Chief Engineer (Water Conservation) will have Rs 2,000 crore projects

Source said the Lakes wing (including lakes and storm water drains) is currently executing a Rs 175-crore project on the lines of the Sabarmati River Front Project. Currently, BBMP has gaiven Superintendent Engineer BT Mohan Krishna the additional responsibility of Chief Engineer (Lakes), in the absence of a regular Chief Engineer.

A few of the projects coming under the Lakes wing are a ‘Zero flooding’ project at a cost of Rs 60 crore for desilting and maintenance of SWDs, a lake adoption scheme which is targeted at corporates with a turnover of more than Rs 100 crore and which envisages covering 36 lakes at a cost of Rs 310 crore, and annual desilting and maintenance of storm water drains to prevent flooding during the rainy season at a cost of Rs 5 crore.

Commissioner, ACS (UDD) mum

Meanwhile, TheBengaluruLive sent WhatsApp messages to ACS (UDD) Rakesh Singh (who is also currently BBMP Administrator) and BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta on the proposed merger of the engineering wings, but we did not receive any response from either of them by the time the story was published.

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