First phase of Bangalore Metro to be commissioned in December

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Outlining policy: Governor H.R. Bhardwaj addressing the joint session of the State legislature in Bangalore on Thursday.
Outlining policy: Governor H.R. Bhardwaj addressing the joint session of the State legislature in Bangalore on Thursday.

Special Correspondent

Integrated IT city to be set up near international airport at Devanahalli

Bangalore: The first phase of Bangalore Metro will be ready by December, and the Government has given an assurance that the entire metro project will be commissioned by March 2013.

In his address to the joint session of the State legislature on Thursday, Governor H.R. Bhardwaj said the progress of work on the Bangalore Metro, which was 0.1 per cent when the Yeddyurappa Government took charge in May 2008, was now 22.4 per cent. The construction of the first phase is on in full swing, and work on the section from Byappanahalli to Mahatma Gandhi Road is progressing rapidly with nearly 70 per cent of the work completed and the Metro service scheduled to begin operations in December.

Signal-free corridors

He said the Government had approved 12 signal-free traffic corridors in the newly added zones of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike. Further, five new residential layouts to provide 1.74 lakh house sites would be developed by the Bangalore Development Authority, and the final land acquisition notification for Kempe Gowda Layout had been issued.

On the collection of property tax in urban pockets, Mr. Bhardwaj said, “For the first time in the country, the Government has initiated GIS-based property assessment programmes in five cities on public-private partnership basis. The scheme will encompass all areas of the State in a phased manner.

IT city

He said the Government proposed to set up a 40-sq.-km integrated information technology city — an IT investment region based on Central guidelines — near Devanahalli, close to Bengaluru International Airport. Sector-specific biotechnology parks would be set up in Mysore, Mangalore, Dharwad and Bidar, apart from the one in Bangalore.

Mr. Bhardwaj said the Government’s new tourism policy was expected to bring in investment of Rs. 25,000 crore over the next 10 years and make Karnataka a leading tourism destination. The existing airport at Hubli would be upgraded to international standards, and land was being acquired for the expansion programme. Airstrips would be provided in Davangere, Raichur, Chikmagalur, Udupi, Kushalnagar, Gokarna, Chitradurga, Bagalkot, Haveri, Gadag and Kollegal.

Turning to fiscal management, the Governor said Karnataka had earned a reputation for being disciplined in its fiscal management. Despite the increasing level of expenditure on various schemes, the Government had maintained a record of achieving a revenue surplus every year, and the State had also contained its fiscal deficit in keeping with the limits stipulated by the Karnataka Fiscal Responsibility Act. The Government was committed to ensuring availability of capital investment on a sustained basis.

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