Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Rs22,000-crore plan is a farce, say former Mayors

Rs22,000-crore plan is a farce, say former Mayors

They feel that there is nothing new in the plan announced by the state government

Hemanth Kumar. Bangalore

Former mayors Ramachandrappa, PRRamesh and J Huchchappa of Congress have termed the Rs 22,000 crore announced by transport minister R Ashok for development of Bangalore as a 'farce.'
There was nothing new in the plan announced by the BJP government. The projects like 12 signal free traffic corridors in the central business district of the city, elevated roads on storm water drains, subways and sky walks are part of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP) budget.
"The old projects are being announced as something new just to hoodwink the people as the BBMP polls are fast approaching," said Ramachandrappa.
The entire exercise was part of a larger plan to float bonds to the tune of over Rs 9,000 crore in the name of mobilising funds for the projects. "The bonds will ensure huge cuts for those in key positions. The purpose of the projects is more with an eye on the cuts than public interest," Ramachandrappa alleged. The union government was ready to fund these projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) programme if the state government submits the detailed project reports. "So where is the need for floating bonds? The bonds would further strain the state's finances as interest should be paid for the bonds," he said.
Referring to proposals for construction of 200 skywalks in the city, Ramachandrappa said, the already constructed skywalks in the city have failed to fulfil their purpose. The public is not using them. Reacting to the proposal that the skywalks would have escalators for the convenience of people, Huchchappa asked as to how the government would ensure steady supply of power to these skywalks and also that who would maintain them.
The plan for rejuvenation of lakes and development of parks near the lakes was already under implementation through BBMP and Bangalore Development Authority. The storm water drain re-modelling works had been launched long time ago and yet it finds mention again in the new package, PRRamesh said.


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