Afshan Yasmeen

BMP made a slew of promises last year; most of them remain on paper

  • Inner Core Ring Road, several grade separators yet to be built
  • Rs. 300-crore elevated ring road in the city remains a non-starter

    BANGALORE: On the eve of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's (BBMP) first budget, it is time to take stock of the promises not kept by the erstwhile BMP.

    The BMP had announced the construction of 14 flyovers and grade separators, eight pedestrian subways, six railway under-bridges (RUBs) and railway over-bridges (ROBs) and an Inner Core Ring Road in its Rs. 1,870-crore budget for 2006-07. But with most of these still on paper, the wait for a better city continues with yet another budget being unveiled on Friday.

    Although the civic body has been following the practice of "carrying over" from previous budgets, the "spill-over" is considerable this time. Barring work on a few projects, including a grade separator at Malleswaram and an ROB at Mathikere, none of last year's proposals have been implemented. In fact, several infrastructure projects, including grade separators at Hudson Circle, K.R. Circle, Ring Road-Tumkur Road junction, Peenya Dasarahali junction and Khoday's Circle and a Rs. 300-crore elevated corridor connecting the central business district with Mysore Road, have been in the planning stage for two years now.

    The Rs. 20-crore motorable roads project and the Rs. 120-crore "complete blacktop" asphalting to upgrade 1,000 km of roads were launched with fanfare two years ago.

    While the first died a premature death, only the first phase of the latter has been implemented. The second phase, which recently got Government approval, will spill over for the third time.

    The Rs. 177-crore Karnataka Municipal Reforms Project (KMRP), a World Bank-funded project with a promise of 40 pothole-free roads in the city, has been in progress for the past two years.

    Similarly, the proposal to issue `smart' health cards to 20,000 poor families, the "Udhyana Bengaluru" for partnership with residents' associations for maintenance of parks, and day care centres and 10 citizen service centres remain on paper. At present, there are four citizens service centres and one day care centre.

    Watch this space next year.

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