Schemes have been introduced to woo voters, says Opposition
With the Assembly elections just a few months away, it seems that the ruling BJP has included some popular programmes and schemes to woo voters. K.A. Muneendra Kumar, chairperson of Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance, said the 2012-13 budget’s mantra is “overall development”.
However, Opposition parties have termed the budget an “eyewash” and that these schemes have been introduced with the sole intention of wooing the voters.
The BBMP has proposed to extend support to nearly 500 poor weavers in the city, earmarking Rs. 5 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi Swavalambana programme. Under Badavara Dhwani scheme, it proposes to identify hawkers and roadside vendors to help them purchase pushcarts. A sum of Rs. 5 crore has been earmarked for this.
The Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Housing Scheme introduced last year has been continued this year. Of the 14,750 houses sanctioned, 5,702 have been completed and 3,880 are under progress.
The remaining 5,168 will be completed this year. Construction of houses for the economically weaker sections under the Pandit Deen Dayal Housing scheme is being continued this year as well. Along with 33 houses proposed last year, another 17 houses per ward will be taken up this year.
Under the Dr. V.S. Acharya Anila Samparka programme, for which Rs. 10 crore has been earmarked, 100 poor families per ward will be identified and allotted gas connections. Under Sarathi scheme, the BBMP has proposed to extend financial support to needy autorickshaw drivers to install electronic digital meters.
Special schemes will be taken up under the head of Samskara for the uplift of people involved in works related to burial and burning of the dead body. The proposal to construct shelters for the labour class that was mentioned in the previous budget will be implemented this year.
A sum of Rs. 5 lakh per ward has been earmarked in the budget for social and educational programmes to be taken up in wards represented by women in memory of NASA astronaut Kalpana Chawla. A sum of Rs. 3.50 crore has been earmarked for the same.
Old infrastructure projects
The budget has brought in some infrastructure projects that were announced in the previous years’ budgets. Prominent among these is the five signal-free corridors that were proposed to be taken up at Rs. 618 crore. This year, Rs. 426 crore has been allocated for signal-free corridors at Dr. Rajkumar Road, Outer Ring Road, Hosur Road, Old Airport Road and Mekhri Circle to Hope Farm junction.
Ten multi-level car parking facilities have once again been proposed at Rs. 200 crore, while 73.5 km of 45 arterial and sub-arterial roads will be developed on a 50:50 partnership basis by government and BBMP under the Tender SURE scheme.
Under the Special Development Grants, grade separators at Maramma Circle, Magadi Road and Basaveshwaranagar Road junction, Rajajinagar 10th Cross and West of Chord Road junction, Shivanagar 8th Main and West of Chord Road junction and Shivananda Circle at a cost of Rs. 195 crore.
Under the 13th Finance Commission, Rs. 200 crore has been earmarked to take up various works for effective solid waste management. The budget has earmarked Rs. 60 crore to widen 13 roads as per City Development Plan 2015, while Rs. 140 crore has been allocated for asphalting and improving select roads in 86 locations.