Special Correspondent

Leaders feel Bangalore is being favoured Leaders feel that Bangalore is being favoured

Main demandsEarly introduction of passenger train services between Hassan and Mangalore Development of a container traffic terminal at New Mangalore Port Upgrading of the Bajpe airport Establishment of an information technology special economic zone

MANGALORE: Encouraged by the assurances of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on release of funds for urban development at the inauguration of the Mumbai metro rail project on Wednesday, leaders in Karnataka are hoping to meet him to highlight developmental issues during his visit to Mangalore on Friday for the launch of a Rs. 4,900-crore petrochemical project.

Sources in the Congress told The Hindu that they felt only Bangalore was receiving funds for infrastructure development, and tier-two cities were being neglected.

Memorandums on development of roads, drinking water supply system and infrastructure will be submitted to the Prime Minister. Leaders from Shimoga, Kodagu, Chikmagalur, Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts will come to Mangalore to meet Dr. Singh, and those from Hassan, Mysore and Tumkur districts will go to Bangalore to do so.

Leaders from Mangalore will appeal to Dr. Singh to take steps for the early introduction of passenger train services between Hassan and Mangalore. Development of a container traffic terminal at New Mangalore Port, upgrading of the Bajpe airport and establishment of an information technology special economic zone and an export promotion industrial park are other demands.

The BJP has said names of local MPs and MLAs have not been included in the invitations to the petrochemical complex inauguration printed by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. At a press conference here on Thursday, BJP district unit president Monappa Bhandary said this was a serious lapse on the part of the company.

Security arrangements

Banners welcoming invitees to the inauguration of the project have been put up along the road to Permude village in Mangalore taluk.

The Dakshina Kannada district police have made tight security arrangements in view of Dr. Singh's visit, and the Bajpe-Kalavaru-Permude-Suratkal road will be closed for traffic between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The Prime Minister will arrive by a special Indian Air Force aircraft at the Bajpe airport at 11.35 a.m. He will be received by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and other State leaders. Dr. Singh will reach the venue of the inauguration by road at noon, and leave for the airport at 1.55 p.m. The aircraft carrying Dr. Singh will leave for Bangalore at 2.15 p.m.

Superintendent of Police B. Dayananda said invitees to the inauguration should be seated at the venue by 11 a.m. Barring accredited photographers, no one would be allowed to carry cameras. Cellphones would have to be handed over to security personnel, he said.

Mr. Dayananda said security personnel from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada and Chikmagalur districts had been deployed.