Friday, December 04, 2009

Rs40,000-cr cheque for Bangalore

Rs40,000-cr cheque for Bangalore

Karnataka government announces pre-poll sops for city. Experts question timing, say it violates poll code of conduct

Hemanth Kumar & Srikanth Hunasavadi. Bangalore

The loads of lollies being doled out by the BJP government to woo Bangaloreans with an eye on the civic polls, have crossed the Rs40,000 crore-mark. The cream on the heap of lollies came on Thursday in the form of state cabinet's approval for Akrama-Sakrama, a scheme to regularise building law violations by the property owners.
But after the BJP government allegedly avoided the civic polls over last three years, its series of programmes for Bangalore's development and the cabinet's approval for Akrama-Sakrama scheme just days ahead of the civic poll notification, have raised questions over the relevance of the poll code of conduct. It started with the state government providing Rs100 crore each for the development of assembly segments in Bangalore which comprised areas newly added to the BBMP. The Self Assessment System (SAS) property tax was introduced with reduction in tax rates and a rebate of 5% for those who paid it in time.
An ambitious storm water drain upgrade project of Rs4,000 crore was announced in the aftermath of 6-year-old Abhishek's tragic death in Lingarajapuram on May 31. The plan included not only remodelling of the drains but also covering them with concrete.
The ambitious metro project was extended to reach out to residents in areas as far as Hesarghatta Cross, Puttenahalli and Whitefield, that would entail an additional expenditure of over Rs2,500 crore.
The announcement of a mammoth Rs22,000 crore package of infrastructure works for Bangalore three months ago made the opposition sit up and ask whether the government had such funds to implement it.

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