Civic works get lion’s share
ivic works get lion’s share
The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has yet again crafted a fine blueprint to upgrade the city’s infrastructure and has allocated a major share of its annual budget — a whopping Rs 1,060 crore plus Rs 995 crore — for civic works.
The projects are very similar to those in the past: flyovers, underpasses, development of roads, roadwidening, pavements, sky-walks. But this time, a new project with a fancy name — a tunnel between Minsk Square and BDA junction — takes the cake with the government announcing Rs 50 crore to make this dream project a reality. An underpass at the Cauvery junction is also in the pipeline to ensure a traffic-free corridor between Minsk Square and Hebbal flyover.
Grade-separators are passe, elevated roads are in. The BBMP is planning to construct elevated roads: Shoolay Circle to Silk Board junction at a cost of Rs 5 crore; from Yeshwantpur to NHAI corridor on Tumkur Road for Rs 10 crore. Two grade separators that were proposed last year — one at R V Teachers College and the other at Tagore Circle and approved under JNURM — are expected to be completed by 2008.
BBMP’s new areas will also get an infrastructure bonanza. Underpasses at four locations are being planned this year, cutting across the Ring Road at Nagawara, Hennur-Banaswadi, Puttenahalli and Kadrenahalli.
Another project that raised many eyebrows — the Core Ring Road — has also found mention in the budget. The project, that envisages a signal-free corridor of 30 km on the existing road alignment in the heart of the city, will be taken up under the Public-Private-Partnership initiative.
Road widening, which the BBMP has been campaigning for, got a further push with authorities planning to widen all major roads in the city. A detailed project report is being prepared for funding under JNURM.
Over 80 roads across 144 km of Bangalore will be taken up under the TDR scheme, for which Rs 50 crore has been allocated.
The government has approved land for four roads — Seshadri Road, Palace Road, Race Course Road and Kasturba Road — and work is expected to be completed in four months. However, another four roads — Bellary Road, Hosur Road, Hosur Lashkar Road and Nrupathunga Road — are yet to see some action.
IN THE OFFING
While four road underbridges are being completed by BBMP, another nine RUBs/ROBs will be taken up this year — Bapujinagar-Pipeline Road, Byappanahalli, Kodigehalli and MES Jalahalli. Authorities have also conducted preliminary studies for KR Puram, Srirampuram, Kasturinagar-Banaswadi, Gangondanahalli and Binnypet
New grade separators: 16th main, BTM Layout, Ring Road, Kanakapura Road, Banashankari Temple and Ring Road, Maharani’s College, Khoday’s Circle, Mysore Road elevated corridor, Cauvery Theatre junction, Chennama Circle.
Three ongoing projects — Malleswaram, Gaali Anjaneya Temple and Yeshwantpur Circle — will be completed.
BBMP will spend another Rs 995 crore for civil works. This includes Rs 105 crore for road development under KMRP, black topping and white topping, side-walks.
34 new automated pedestrian skywalks, said to be the first such project in India.
Bangalore once boasted of 1,500 lakes, but the number now has shrunk to a few hundreds. Encroachments and pollution are to blame for this. Several water bodies in the seven CMCs and one TMC are staring at the same fate. With new areas coming under the BBMP’s fold, I hope the green cover there will be intact. The use of non-potable water for all BBMP parks is a novel idea. Though rainwater harvesting is mandatory, nobody follows it. Hence, the move to create awareness on this is welcome. — Mythili G Nirvan, CEO, Prachar Integrated Communications Consultants
NO MORE EMPTY PROMISES
All of us pay road tax worth tens of thousands of rupees, but what facilities do we get in return? Vehicles are parked on roads and footpaths are used for driving! The budget promises some action on road-widening, I hope it’s implemented, and within deadline. Another major proposal is a comprehensive parking policy, specially the PPP model. Hope all the proposals are translated into action. — Yashwanth Rai, general manger, Mandovi Motors
We are way behind many countries like the UK and US. When I was in the UK, I used to play basketball, baseball and cricket in the neighbourhood. The playgrounds there are sprawling. Everything is secure and user-friendly; there are nets, grills and playing courts for each individual game, and each locality has its own play area. Here, it is the opposite. Though there are many playgrounds, facilities are missing and they are unhygienic. — Partheek, VII std student, National Hill View Public School
HATS OFF TO RTI
Getting information from a corporation office has always been painful. Thanks to the RTI ACT, we have seen a sea change in the corporation’s functioning. I am happy this budget has laid emphasis on strengthening the RTI Cell. This also provides for improving efficiency of the administration at the zonal and local level. Hope the image of BBMP will change with the new initiatives. — Sumitha Prashanth, manager, Sun Microsystems
It is heartening to see that after much delay, a comprehensive parking policy is being put in place this year. There should be a serious effort to enforce a transparent policy with participation of private companies. The off-road car-parking initiatives should be extended to other areas. I am relieved that multi-level car parking will be taken up at various locations. The process of raising monies required for this should be taken up at the earliest. There should be some thought on levying heavy cess on builders in congested areas and this should be utilised for improving water and sewerage connections on these roads. The only disheartening aspect is the metered on-road-parking concept since this eats away precious roadspace.
— Ashok Kheny, managing director, NICE Ltd
I am happy to see the series of underpasses and grade separators being planned. Unlike the previous BMP budgets where only announcements were made, I hope this time the BBMP will seriously try and complete all these projects. Importance should be given to raise the Rs 669 crore allocated for these projects. The government should be persuaded to allocate/lend the necessary funds.
— Manjunath Naikar, NICE spokesperson