Saturday, April 24, 2010

‘Pay-and-park system will not stage a comeback’

‘Pay-and-park system will not stage a comeback’
Bangalore, April 23, DH News Service:

Two people were the star attractions at the Palike meeting on Friday. The 53-year-old newly elected Mayor, S K Nataraj, and his one-month-old grandson...


While his grandfather was busy accepting accolades showered on him, the infant was sleeping peacefully in the arms of his rejoicing mother.

Speaking to the media, Nataraj’s daughter, N Tejasvini said her father was destined to be the Mayor on account of his well-wishers and his seniority in the party. Tejasvini praised her father as “all-rounder” and was beaming with joy when he finally wore the black robes as the First Citizen.

Present on the occasion was Nataraj’s wife, Lakshmi, who could not hide her feelings when her husband waved towards her after taking the chair. “It was my ambition that my husband became the Mayor at least once in his tenure,” said a coy Lakshmi.

Whether it was his wife’s ambition or his grandson’s birth that proved to be the good luck charm for Nataraj or the ‘blessings’ of Minister Ashok, the Sarakki corporator after being elected thrice to the Council, finally adorned the crown of the Mayor.

Excerpts from his interaction with the media:

Your primary agenda for the City?

To ensure that Bangalore is clean and green. The top priority is to clear the garbage. I intend to transfer the garbage clearance from the engineering division to the health division for better and efficient working.

Also we will plan four dumping yards in the four directions of the City. We also intend to plant as many as five lakh saplings for better green cover.

Your opinion about the pay-and-park system?

I will not allow the parking mafia to re-surface in the City. The pay-and-park system will not be re-introduced. The existing system of freeparking will continue.

I will take steps to solve the parking problem by constructing multi-level parking complexes in all the eight BBMP zones.

Immediate action plan for the coming monsoon?

We will try to ensure that most of the low-lying areas are cleared of silt and other obstacles so that flooding can be reduced.

Solution to the ever increasing road traffic congestion?

The solution rests in improving roads and infrastructure facilities. The signal-free corridor proposed by the State government will also help in easing the traffic.

How do you plan to tackle debt burden of the Palike?

There has been a lot of talk regarding the debt. We will improve the property tax collection system. With the GIS system, the efficiency of the tax collection will certainly increase. Once the tax collection goes up, there will be immediate increase in the revenue. It will help us clear the debts.

Quote hanger

Nataraj will be the Mayor of Bangalore, not the BJP Mayor. The State Government will give him full cooperation to build Bangalore City. He is free to take any decision on policy matters and there will be no interference from the party side.

R Ashok
Bangalore in-charge Minister

We have a lot of expectations from the Mayor. The Congress will extend full support to him when it comes to development. The Mayor has to ensure basic amenities are provided to every citizen of Bangalore. Besides, he has to bring in discipline in BBMP finances and punish the officials who have siphoned off tax-payers’ money during the administrator’s rule.

M Nagaraj
Opposition leader, Congress

There were many complaints of irregularities in the Palike in absence of an elected body. The Mayor should release a white paper on the works executed in the last three and a half years. Drinking water supply and traffic congestion should be top priorities for the new Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

Padmanabha Reddy
JD(S) leader

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