Staff Reporter

Says many layouts handed over half-finished

BMP heavily dependent on grants from the State and Union Governments Corporates urged to share cost of improving roads in their vicinity BMP has developed 574 parks, more locations for parks will be identified

Bangalore: The Bangalore Development Authority should share the blame for the bad state of roads in new layouts developed by it, Mayor Mumtaz Begum said here on Monday.

"Many new layouts have come up without basic infrastructure and they have been handed over to Bangalore Mahanagara Palike in a half-finished state. We cannot always explain this to the residents who complain about inadequate facilities, and we have to build the roads," Ms. Begum said at an interactive programme organised by the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The BMP also faces a resources crunch and apart from revenue from property and other taxes and trade licences, the civic body has to heavily depend on grants from the State and Union Governments, the Mayor said.

"Due to some carelessness by BMP officials in earlier years, we get only nominal rents from shops in our commercial complexes. We have asked the government to allow us to increase the compounding fees (usually for violation of building norms) from five per cent to 25 per cent; this will help us generate more income," she said.

Road works

The Mayor said she was satisfied with the progress and quality of road works now taken up and that disputes with the road contractors will be sorted out soon. No work will be allowed to stop for this reason. She wanted corporates to share in the cost of improving roads in their vicinity.

The BMP has developed 574 parks, including some in BDA areas, and more locations for parks will be identified and they will be developed.

Paid parking

"There is pressure from the traffic police to restore the pay-and-park system but we are yet to decide on this. The police want this to reduce vehicle thefts but we have to study public opinion," Ms. Begum said.

Responding to issues raised by FKCCI President S. Babu, the Mayor said while widening roads, the interests of existing businesses and road users will be taken into account. "An example is Avenue Road where road widening that has been planned may affect businesses existing there for several decades even if marginal adjustments to the road width are carried out," she said.

Tax collection

There are leakages in the tax collection system that need to be plugged and revenue could increase considerably. This can even avoid periodical revision of tax assessment, she said.

Chairman of FKCCI's Civic Affairs Committee M.M. Harish said the city needed longer flyovers at places such as K.R. Market, where it could extend up to Richmond Circle, passing through Town Hall and Hudson Circle.

New flyovers are necessary at Bhashyam Circle, at Sadashivanagar, Rajajinagar, Trinity Circle and South End Circle. Flyover construction should be speeded up to avoid traffic snarls around their locations.

The city also needs more "lung space" in places such as Bannerghatta Road, Hosur Road and Sarjapur Road, which were fast becoming concrete jungles, he said.

Capt. Harish suggested that approval for new layouts and buildings should be based on careful criteria and haphazard growth should be stopped if the city is to remain green. Infrastructure in industrial estates needed improvement. Members of the Peenya Industries Association presented their grievances to the Mayor.