Friday, November 26, 2004

`Coordination among civic bodies must'

`Coordination among civic bodies must'
The Hindu

BANGALORE, NOV. 25. The Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, on Thursday called for "perfect coordination" between the various civic bodies in Bangalore and said his Government had "indicated" to the Centre that Bangalore needed the status of a "metropolitan" city.

"Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata already are," he said at a function organised by the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) to dedicate development works estimated at Rs. 162.6 crores, at the Shivajinagar Corporation Playground here. The function inaugurated by the Mayor, P.R. Ramesh, also saw foundation stones being laid for projects estimated at Rs. 180.49 crores.

Mr. Dharam Singh said Bangalore was a cosmopolitan city with a floating population. "Now, cries for infrastructure development are getting louder and we are paying heed," he insisted. But, first, the BMP had to "perfectly coordinate" with the other civic agencies.

At another function, Mr. Dharam Singh said that the Government was thinking of asking the Planning Commission for more funds for the city's development. He said there was a plan to increase the budgetary allocation for city corporations. "But I must first discuss this with the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah," he added.

Roads

Referring to roads, Mr. Dharam Singh said the problem of bad roads was being tackled on priority. Contracts for work on 1,300 km of roads had been given. "Bangaloreans say roads are bad. Roads are worse in villages and in my constituency, Jewargi," he said. "I have announced that all road works will be started on November 15 and that has happened."

Mr. Dharam Singh said roads in the State were only 20 mm thick while the World Bank wanted the thickness to be 80 mm. "Now we have a Rs. 2,030-crore World Bank-aided project for roads," he said. But the problem was that overloaded trucks tended to undo all road repair projects. "We are now thinking of framing a new law banning such heavy vehicles," he said.

Bangalore was known for its strides in the information technology and biotechnology sectors. "When S.M. Krishna was the Chief Minister, Infosys and others worked well. We have tried to continue that tradition." He referred to recent statements comparing development here with that in China (Mr. Krishna is now in China) and Singapore. "One cannot compare Bangalore with these places, they are different economically, socially and in every sense," he added

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