The city might start stinking Wednesday onwards as pourakarmikas have extended their support to an indefinite strike called by the BBMP Officers and Employees Association, protesting against the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) for filing criminal cases.
Responding to the strike call, BBMP Commissioner M K Shankarlinge Gowda said, “BMTF works under the Urban Development department as per the government orders. As a Commissioner, I can only appeal public to keep dirt inside their compound” he said.
More than 11,000 staff and pourakarmikas are going on strike. Association president R Subramaniam said, BMTF chief R P Sharma has so far booked criminal cases against 132 officials. “BMTF authorities have booked around 30 cases a week ago. When we presented a memorandum to Deputy Chief Minister R Ashok, who is also the minister for Home department, had promised to address the problem. After the meeting with Ashok, more than 100 cases has been booked against officials by BMTF,” he said.
BMTF was formed in 1996 to protect the BBMP’s property, later other civic agencies like BDA, BWSSB were included. Subramaniam, quoting the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, section 3 of 493, said BMTF shall be governed by the rules as may be prescribed by Commissioner. BMTF is supposed to work under the BBMP Commissioner. Meanwhile, BMTF had gone to the State government and received an order stating that they work under Principal Secretary to the Urban Development department. “This order not only violates KMC Act, but also states that the Commissioner has no hold on them,” he said.
Subramaniam said that BBMP employees are also government employees. “Karnataka civil service rules hold good for us. BMTF cannot take action all of a sudden. They are filing cases against BBMP officials without serving any notice to anyone, even the Commissioner who is the appointing authority for us,” he said.
“We are demanding State government to withdraw the order and allow BMTF to work under BBMP Commissioner,” he said.
Meanwhile, addressing a news conference here, former Mayor Ramachandrappa said, “It is unfortunate that the cold war between BBMP and BMTF has caused inconvenienced to the public. Even the State government has failed to sort this issue.” Former Mayors also demanded removal of R P Sharma from BMTF. “Sharma is constructing house illegally in BDA limits. He does not have any rights,” they said.