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Karnataka govt allocates Rs 2,000 crore to local bodies

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Bengaluru, Nov 28 (IANS) Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Tuesday said the state government has allocated Rs 2,000 crores to local bodies for solid waste management, sewage treatment, drinking water supply, and cleanliness.

In his address after inaugurating an exhibition at ‘Municipalika-23’, he said the funds will be used by the local bodies to develop infrastructure for solid waste management, sewage treatment, water supply and upkeep of cleanliness.

Local bodies must adhere to the National Green Tribunal’s guidelines to urban local bodies on scientific disposal of waste, sewage treatment and cleanliness, he said.

Noting that construction waste was becoming a menace in cities as it was dumped randomly, Shivakumar called upon the urban local bodies to strictly monitor its disposal.

Calling upon the local bodies and urban bodies to increase efficiency of property tax collection, he said: "Government will allocate funds to local bodies and urban bodies but they have to become self-sufficient by increasing property tax collection. The elected representatives must ensure that local and urban governing bodies must become financially independent."

The government is working to digitise property documents using drones and it will help local bodies and urban bodies to improve tax collection, he said.

"Some people are violating bye laws by building more floors than approved. The officials must identify such properties and collect additional property tax without fearing any political pressure.

"I will conduct a meeting with Urban Development Minister Byrathi Suresh and Municipal Administration Minister Rahim Khan to increase tax collection," he said.

He noted that water tariff in Bengaluru hasn’t been reviewed in the last 12 years due to political considerations but the costs of pumping water to Bengaluru are rising and the urban bodies must bring in efficiencies in water supply, he said.

Many of the towns receive water supply once a week and there is shortage of water.

The local bodies must stop misuse of drinking water for washing clothes and cars, and mopping floors.

"Water is precious and local bodies must keep a strict account of its usage. Drilling of borewells is rampant today, but the local bodies must keep a tab on the number of borewells and their approvals. There are many guidelines from the State and Centre about new borewells and they need to be monitored," he said.

Noting that there is no count of borewells in the state, he suggested a plan to levy a nominal fee so that all borewells are accounted for.

"A fee of Rs 50 should be levied on borewells. It is not to generate revenues for the government but to get data on the number of borewells. With this, the government will know the number of borewells used for agriculture, residential and commercial purposes," he said.



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