The State Cabinet, which met here on Thursday, approved the development of 10,000 km of rural roads with funds largely drawn from the Union Government’s Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
Briefing presspersons on the decisions taken by the Cabinet, Minister for Home V.S. Acharya said a project report would be prepared and the rural roads upgrading programme would be implemented in the next financial year.
If there is any shortfall in funds, the State would make allocations in the budget for 2010-11. Under the programme, rural roads linking villages with a population of 500 to 1,000 would be developed.
The Cabinet also approved an action plan — Kalampura (named after the former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam) for comprehensive development of villages in 200 hoblis. Under the proposal, Rs. 2 crore would be spent for development of each village, and the improvements relate to drinking water supply, drainage, electricity supply, roads etc.
In coastal areas, the villages would also have a jetty for the benefit of fishermen. The Kalampura plan aims at implementing the Vision 2020 scheme made out by Dr. Kalam in his special address to the Legislative Assembly in 2005 when he was President.
Dr. Acharya said administrative matters were also discussed at the meeting, and one of them related to dismissing two officials of the Department of Sericulture on charges of misappropriation of government funds. The Cabinet cleared prosecution of the two officials and confiscating their properties to recover the money.
In the normal course, the Government recovers the loss from the terminal benefits given to employees, but in this case as the amount involved is over Rs. 1 crore a decision was taken to attach their properties. The officials are U.H. Hiremath, who is posted in Belgaum district, and H.B. Kulla Naik, posted in Chamarajanagar district.
In another decision, the Cabinet approved amendments to the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board Act and certain other laws, including the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, to make rainwater harvesting, installation of meters for all water connections mandatory in Bangalore and other urban areas.
A new Bill would be drafted and placed before the two Houses of the legislature in the coming session.
The Government decided to bear the cost escalation (Rs. 442 crore) in the implementation of the second phase of the Cauvery Fourth Stage drinking water supply scheme for Bangalore. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation has financed Rs. 3,383 crore for the project set to be completed by 2011.
Dr. Acharya said the Cabinet also cleared the implementation of rural drinking water supply schemes in Bagalkot, Bidar, Belgaum, Bijapur, Haveri, Dharwad, Gadag, Gulbarga, Koppal, Raichur and Uttara Kannada districts at a cost of Rs. 1,100 crore with World Bank assistance. The proposal would be sent to the Centre to be forwarded to the World Bank for approval.