From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Mar 3: With passions mounting with demands for reservation by various communities, especially the politically powerful Lingayats and Vokkaligas, on the eve of the budget session of the state Legislature, the BS Yediyurappa government has decided to temporarily send the issue to the backburner by constituting a high-level panel headed by a retired High Court judge to look into demands made by various communities seeking changes in the existing reservation.
Briefing reporters after a meeting of the State Cabinet held with Yediyurappa in the chair in Bengaluru on Wednesday, law and home minister Basavaraj Bommai said the panel will be a 3-member committee, which will include an administrator and a social scientist.
The Panchamasali community has sought to be included under 2A category, which has already been referred to the State Backward Classes Commission. The Halumatha (Kuruba) community has asked to be categorised as ST. An anthropological study is in progress to look into this demand.
Meanwhile, the Valmiki community has sought an increase in the reservation.
It may be recalled that the Justice Nagamohan Das committee has already recommended an increase in the reservation for SC, ST communities.
Incidentally, the Veerashaiva Lingayats have sought for reservation under the Central OBC list.
"When we look at all these demands, it already exceeds the 50% cap for overall reservation provided by the Supreme Court,” Bommai pointed out.
In instances where states have proposed to exceed this cap, the Supreme Court has given stay orders or has rejected such moves, he said.
Chief minister BS Yediyurappa is soon expected to take a call on who to appoint for the committee.
"The committee will not be given a time frame but the members will decide on it based on individual reservation demands," Bommai said.
At present, Karnataka provides 32% reservation for OBCs, 15% for SCs and 3% for STs totalling 50% as capped by the Supreme Court.
If the BJP government decides to hike quotas, the 50% cap will be breached, which is a legal quagmire.
Last year, the HN Nagamohan Das Commission recommended increasing reservation for SC from 15% to 17% and STs from 3% to 7.5%.
Bengaluru Solid Waste Management Company
The State Cabinet has also decided to establish a Bengaluru Solid Waste Management Company for the handling the solid waste.
While the BBMP would invest 51% in the newly formed company, the state government would contribute the rest (49%). The government’s additional chief secretary would be the CEO of the company.
Bommai said that the company would give focused attention to the city’s garbage.
The city generates nearly 5,500 tonnes of solid waste daily and of which 4,500 tonnes produced by households, he said.