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Bangalore gets a lion's share of funds

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Staff Reporter

Rs. 18,872 crore coming in the next three years for infrastructure

Bangalore: With an eye on the impending elections to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has ensured that Bangalore got a lion's share of funds for infrastructure development.

Terming Bangalore as “the pride of the nation” in his Budget 2010-11 speech, the Chief Minister said that over the next three years, the city would see an investment of about Rs. 18,872 crore.

“These funds would be used to improve overall infrastructure in Bangalore city through development of Metro Rail, Mono Rail and good roads,” the Chief Minister added.

Over the past two years, he claimed that the various civic agencies — BBMP, Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) — had spent approximately Rs. 6,000 crore. Necessary grants and resources are being provided to continue various major programmes during 2010-11.

He said that BBMP gets an allocation of Rs. 3,000 crore to take up infrastructure works towards improvement of city roads, footpaths, construction of overbridges and underbridges.

BDA

He also said that BDA gets Rs. 1,000 crore for the construction of multi-storeyed vehicle parking centres and improvement of 10 important traffic routes in various parts of the city.

The civic authority also gets Rs. 200 crore to take up improvement works in 25 tanks in the city.

BWSSB

To improve drinking water and sanitation facilities by the BWSSB in the new areas of the BBMP, the Chief Minister has earmarked Rs. 425 crore. A total of Rs. 100 crore has been allocated to change the defective water and drainage pipes in the old areas of Bangalore.

Mass transport

The State's annual allocation for 2010-11 towards Metro Rail project will be Rs. 600 crore. Mr. Yeddyurappa reiterated that the first phase of the project would be commissioned in 2010-11.

The State Government is prepared to provide 50 per cent of the required capital to start local trains in Bangalore. He said that the State Government would soon urge the Union Government to approve the scheme expeditiously.

‘Audit previous Budget'

Reacting to the Budget, traffic expert M.N. Sreehari told The Hindu that the various allocations will not mean anything to the common man who wants to see visible and tangible changes in the city's infrastructure.

“Allocating funds is easy. However, where will the funds come from? We must first audit previous years' Budget and take stock of funds actually allocated, released and spent,” he said.

He also said that Bangaloreans need basic facilities such as good roads and footpaths.

“The Chief Minister could have announced in the Budget that the roads are meant for traffic and directed the civic authorities to ensure vehicles are not parked on the roads,” he added.

N.S. Mukund from Citizens' Action Forum was of the opinion that the Government will not be able to execute projects/ schemes announced in the Budget.

“Funds allocated for improving drinking water and sanitation facilities in the new areas are a complete eye-wash. Though beneficiary contribution is being collected from consumers for the past two-three years, water supply has not been assured to residents of the new areas,” he said.

He said that the Government aimed to mobilise funds by bringing in Akrama/Sakrama “through the back door.” “The basic objective of the Akrama/Sakrama scheme is to mobilise funds instead of ensuring planned growth of the city. There are other ways to raise resources,” he added.

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