Roads high on BBMP’s wish list for State budget

The civic body claims that BWSSB has dug up over 3,000 km of roads for laying water and sewage pipelines in 110 villages.

The civic body claims that BWSSB has dug up over 3,000 km of roads for laying water and sewage pipelines in 110 villages.   | Photo Credit: K_MURALI_KUMAR

The priority is repairing roads that had been dug up for laying water and sewage pipelines

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has sought a grant of ₹2,300 crore in the state budget to re-do over 3,000 km of roads dug up by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) while laying water pipelines in 110 villages. The condition of the roads has become a nightmare for residents and motorists who have been living with dust and traffic snarls for the past several months.

“BWSSB has dug up over 3,000 km of roads, and redoing them is a priority,” a senior civic engineer said.

However, in the pre-budget meeting with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who also holds the city portfolio, on Thursday evening, BWSSB reportedly disputed the extent of damage and claimed to have dug up only around 800 km of roads.

The civic body has ambitious plans for the city for which it needs ₹₹11,848 crore, which is marginally higher than its 2019-20 budget (₹11,648.9 crore). The wishlist, which was submitted to the Chief Minister on Thursday, largely focuses on road works apart from lakes and parks.

However, the civic body seems to have got a reality check. “The Chief Minister has asked us to prioritise projects. We are now rationalising our proposal for another meeting scheduled on February 19,” said Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar.

Sources in the civic body said the amount will be brought down to around ₹8,000 crore.

In a year when the Karnataka High Court has pulled up the civic body for bad condition of roads and potholes, the focus of the budget will remain roads, sources said.

Widening of nine roads

The BBMP wants to widen nine key stretches, including main roads of Dinnur, Hennur, Uttarahalli, Bannerghatta and Ittamadu, which has been pending for nearly a decade. The civic body has suggested that if property owners are not willing to give up land and the cost of acquisition is too high, flyovers have to be built instead of widening roads. The proposal for more flyovers is expected to draw the ire of activists.

Rail overbridges

The civic body wants to eliminate all manned railway level crossings by next year and sought funds for 11 Railway Over Bridges/Railway Under Bridges, for which it requires a grant of ₹2,680 crore. There is also a proposal to add a lane to the Sankey Tank Bund Road towards Chowdiah Memorial Hall side, to ease congestion on the stretch.

Alternatives to white-topping

Days after he took charge, the Chief Minister had cancelled the tender for the third white-topping package, which covers 300-km of roads. The BBMP now wants to develop these arterial and sub-arterial roads as per TenderSure specifications, for which they have sought ₹1,650 crore.

It also wants ₹715 crore for the rejuvenation of lakes, as it recently got custody of all of them barring Bellandur and Varthur. Developing tree parks on the lines of Cubbon Park at a cost of ₹300 crore in all outer zones is also part of the plan.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:43:13 PM |

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