He wants help in building infrastructure, maintaining facilities
Bangalore’s information technology (IT) companies may have put the city on the world map, but if Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana is to be believed, they have not contributed enough to the city.
“The IT sector has not contributed to Bangalore’s development. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) provides all infrastructure, including roads, but [IT companies] have not given [the city] anything,” he said here on Monday. He was speaking at an interaction organised by the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA).
The Mayor added that IT companies could not contribute to the city as nobody had, so far, approached them. “They can help us in building flyovers, pedestrian passes, skywalks or maintaining medians.”
The Mayor said he would approach about 250 IT and biotechnology companies, other industries, hotels and big colleges in the city to assist the civic body in maintaining parks, schools and playgrounds.
When his attention was drawn to an earlier initiative through Bangalore Agenda Task Force to improve civic facilities, he told presspersons: “Only Infosys Foundation helped build toilets then. This time, NGOs will not be involved, and officials and the elected body will monitor the adoption scheme, which will be launched in November-end.”
Mr. Sathyanarayana defended the adoption scheme citing the financial crunch the BBMP was facing. “The civic body is saddled with debt of Rs. 3,700 crore. Payments have not been made to civil and horticulture contractors, and also for the midday meal scheme at BBMP-run schools. In fact, no contractor is coming forward to carry out development work,” he said.
The BBMP, he added, is dependent only on tax collection, and a large number of properties in the new Rajarajeshwarinagar, Mahadevapura and Bommanahalli zones are outside the property tax net. “A proper assessment in these areas alone would fetch us at least Rs. 1,000 crore.”
Reaction from the IT/BT sector: ‘We’ll do our bit, but what of governance?’