Today's Paper

State seeks early release of Central aid for Bangalore

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh on Saturday called for early release of Central assistance for the Rs. 10,779-crore scheme that has been drawn up by the State Government to improve infrastructure and local governance in Bangalore.

He was speaking at a function here to mark the launch of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JN NURM), Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme in Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) and the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP).

"We are fully geared to take advantage of the JN NURM. We have already prepared the City Development Strategy Plan for Bangalore's infrastructure and governance for Rs. 10,799 crores and prioritised projects at a cost of Rs. 1,409 crores for the first 15 months. We expect the assistance under JN NURM to be released expeditiously to implement the projects in time. Our focus is on storm water drains and road network, accounting for Rs. 1,224 crores of Rs. 1,409 crores,'' he said. Mr. Dharam Singh called for greater support from the Centre for improving infrastructure in other parts of the State, which is estimated to cost an additional Rs. 12,000 crores.

He stressed that the State Government's attention did not stop at Bangalore, and said it was focusing on development of tier-II cities, such as Mysore, Hubli-Dharwad, Mangalore, Belgaum and Gulbarga. "As you will appreciate, a task of this magnitude requires a larger infusion of infrastructure-related investment than what the State can provide in the short term,'' he added.

He noted that even though most of Karnataka is still rural, the pace of urbanisation has been higher than the national average over the past decade.