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Fussing over garden city

Coming close on the heels of the Global Investors’ Meet held in the first week of February 2016 when many industry and IT leaders lamented the traffic congestion and other issues in the Karnataka capital, enough focus on the growth of Bangalore can be seen in Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s 11 budget, for the year 2016-17.

A notable feature of the budget proposal is that above 40 per cent of the urban development allocations has been set apart for various infrastructure and transportation initiatives in Bengaluru. The Chief Minister has allocated a sum of Rs. 5,000 crore to the BBMP under special grants, the total funds allocated being Rs. 6,044 crore.

Infrastructure, roads

Some of the major proposals for Bengaluru’s infrastructure are:

Completion of the work at four signal-free corridors.

Six-lane elevated roads from Central Silk Board to Hebbal, K.R. Puram to Tumakuru road, and Mysore Road to Varthur kodi.

Grade separators at Suranjandas-Old Madras Road junction, Sarjapur- Haralur Road, Hulimavu junction and Arakere junction.

Laying of Portland cement concrete on 300 km. of arterial roads

Redevelopment of roads in the Central Business District under TenderSURE model

Development of alternative routes to decongest city roads covering about 1,500 km.

Construction of multi-level car parking in select locations.

Development of erstwhile city/town municipalities merged with BBMP during its last expansion

Development of Bengaluru-Mysuru six-lane highway.

All-round development of IT/BT hubs, including Whitefield and Peenya industrial area.

Proposed development of a Satellite Town Ring Road (STRR) linking Bangalore to Bidadi smart city master plan

Rs. 100 crore initial allocation for preparation of suburban railway plan

Transport

Encouraging public transport in the city by discouraging private vehicles, and levying of taxes is an idea pronounced through the budget. Travel by private stage carriers and taxis has been made either costly or uneconomical to the operators, by increasing the licensing fee. Addition of 1,000 buses to the BMTC fleet has been budgeted for – mostly for use in IT/BT corridors such as Electronics City and Whitefield. Use of Intelligent Transport Systems involving centralised traffic management and automated ticketing through smart cards too has been planned to make travelling in the city smooth and efficient.

Lake development

Though only a Rs. 100 crore allocation has been made for development/protection of lakes, there is a special proposal to rejuvenate Bellandur and Varthur lakes. Mobilisation of funds for this purpose is planned through the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) route.

Water and sewage

While sewage treatment plants will be set up at Hulimavu, Begur, Sarakki, Agara and K.R.Puram lakes, a sewage network of 110 km covering Rajarajeswarinagar and Kengeri has also been proposed. An allocation of Rs. 800 crore for construction of stormwater drain has also been made.

Waste management

As a long-term solution to tackle this vexed problem, solid waste management has received an allocation of Rs. 500 crore. This may also result in technological upgradation of waste management.

Quality of life

Quality of life in a city is enhanced by improving housing, electricity, water supply & drainage, controlled cost of living etc, apart from easy and cheap transport facilities. To “make Bengaluru a better place to live and work” as stated by the Chief Minister, and by supporting more number of ‘open street’ events, even raising it to international level also to attract tourists, a new vista has been opened up for enjoyable life in ‘namma Bengaluru’. However, many property owners and builders do not see any softening of property prices as there is no proposal to reduce stamp duty or registration charges, whereas the stamp cost on gifting/ leasing of properties and issue of GPAs for sale, given to persons outside family, can only escalate prices, they say, apart from a possible raise in the guidance value round the corner.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 5:54:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/homes-and-gardens/fussing-over-garden-city/article8396456.ece

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