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Bengaluru councillors’ term ended in Sept but over half are still holding onto official iPads

Only 76 of the 198 councillors of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, who had been given these gadgets, have returned the iPads. 

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Bengaluru: More than half of the councillors of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), whose terms ended on 10 September last year, are yet to return the Apple iPads they had been provided for official work, ThePrint has learnt. 

According to sources in the BBMP, only 76 of the 198 councillors, who had been given these gadgets, have returned the iPads.

This adds another chapter to the controversies surrounding the iPads, for which the BBMP council had passed a resolution in 2018. The BBMP had back then placed orders for 225 iPads without calling for a tender and used taxpayers money to buy them at Rs 45,000 a piece.

The civic body came under severe criticism as the iPads were bought even though it was severely cash-strapped. In all, it spent Rs 1 crore to procure the devices.

Sources in the BBMP told ThePrint that they have sent several reminders to the former councillors to return the gadgets but few have responded. 

“It is the moral responsibility of every government servant to return all the facilities given to them once their term ends. I have personally not taken an iPad, but I do feel that my other colleagues should be more responsible,” Padmanabha Reddy, the former BBMP councillor from Kacharkanahalli, told ThePrint.

‘iPads were handed to councillors promptly’

A senior BBMP official said the gadgets were issued to the councillors within 48 hours of the resolution being passed, adding that they have not shown the same promptness in returning them. 

The official told ThePrint that there was a practical issue associated with the gadgets as well. Most electronic gadgets like phones and iPads, the official said, had a life of three to four years, after which they not only lag in performance but also depreciate in value. 

“The newly-elected members may not be willing to use the old gadgets,” the official added. “However, it could have been made clear to the councillors that they could keep the gadgets after their term, then this confusion could have been avoided.”  

A former councillor who sought anonymity said there were a couple of corporators who had passed away. He asked whether the iPads would be retrieved from them as well. 

As of now, the BBMP officials are in the process of asking the councillors to pay for the device at depreciated market rates or return them as mentioned in the circular.


Also read: Now, minister Ramesh Jarkiholi ‘caught in sex CD scandal’ in trouble for Karnataka’s BJP govt


 

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