While the 22-year-old BMTF is an independent police agency entrusted with responsibilities to protect the government property and detect offences related to government agencies, the CSF is a body that would work under the Commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
Replacing BMTF with CSF implies that the scope of the force will be reduced to the city corporation level, unlike now where the task force can also probe BDA, BWSSB, Karnataka Slum Clearance Board etc, besides BBMP. The plan to replace BMTF with CSF originated seven years ago when Jagadish Shettar was the chief minister.
Back then, citizen activists had come down heavily on the plan to dissolve the task force as they accused the government of trying to weaken the police body. The Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, however, provides for setting up of CSF, but the proposal was put into cold storage following public outcry.
Officials in the Urban Development Department told ET that the government is keen to revive the proposal. “We were supposed to discuss it at the Additional Chief Secretary’s meeting a few weeks ago, but the meeting itself got cancelled. We will take it up soon,” the official said. Mahendra Jain, Additional Chief Secretary at the Urban Development department, however, denied they have any such idea for the time being.
While it is not known why exactly the government wants to push it now, one plausible reason was the BBMP’s desire to have a body that works directly under its supervision rather than a police unit that works independently of the democratic institution. It, however, cuts both ways. While BMTF will not listen to corporators as it reports to the government, CSF will have no such independence. The BMTF’s term will end next year after which the government has to issue a notification for its continuation.
A senior police officer who has earlier served in the BMTF said that it will be foolish on the part of the government to think about disbanding an agency that has been functional for 22 years. “An experiment can be done for 2-3 years. Does it take two decades for the government to decide that the experiment is a failure?” he said.
However, a section of citizens are unhappy with the functioning of BMTF too. “By filing B reports in most of the cases, the Task Force has become redundant. The way BMTF handled storm water drain (SWD) encroachment cases reflects its inefficiency. Of the seven cases, B reports were filed in six cases in SWD encroachment,” said Saidatta, an activist.
Source : PTI