Does the State budget address the crying infrastructure needs of Bangalore? A study by K. Sukumaran

The budget presented in the State Assembly by the Chief Minister, Mr. Siddaramaiah, who also holds the Finance portfolio, has attracted mixed reactions. While the critics say that only a fraction of the needs of Bangalore has been provided for in the budget, there are some others who have given some credit to the CM for his approach to the growing infrastructural needs of the city. The criticism mainly relates to the expectations of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) from the budget, considering its poor financial position.

Projects worth Rs. 9,476.86 crore have been proposed for the city’s needs and a sum of Rs. 2,724 crore has been provided in the budget, the remaining being expected from schemes such as Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM) and from Japan International Cooperation Agency and other State schemes.

The budget states that the BBMP will get funds from the Finance Commission, Chief Minister’s special grant, Nagarothana Scheme, Lake Development Scheme, and others. The criticism is that the BBMP is getting a meagre percentage of 2.32 of the total budget outlay of Rs. 65,600 crore. Again, the city’s share is only seven per cent of the total budget allocations.

The identified/listed projects

Traffic related schemes: (in crores)

Comprehensive development of arterial & sub-arterial roads: 500; Widening of roads listed in the master plan 2015: 300; Development of 12 main roads: 300; Development of TMCs & CMC areas within the BBMP: 250; Railway overbridges & underbridges: 200; Grade separators: 200; Footpaths: 100; Upgrading of traffic junctions: 100; Development of 31 lakes: 100; Solid waste management: 100; Parking policy implementation: 10; Development of park at beggars’ colony: 10.

While, practically, there is nothing for the housing sector, in general, in the budget, the rise in stamp duty for joint development agreements is likely to jack up the prices of apartments.

The BDA will allot 5,000 sites in Kempe Gowda Layout. It will also construct 8,000 flats for allotment.

Other projects to be executed by the BDA

Construction of peripheral ring roads at a cost of Rs. 5,800 crore

Underpass at Goraguntepalya road and Tumkur road junction at a cost of Rs. 125 crore Elevated corridor from ALISDA to BEL Circle costing Rs. 191.86 crore

Elevated corridor from Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal at a cost of Rs. 1,100 crore