Monday, August 09, 2004

Minister suggests corpus fund for city's infrastructure

Corpus fund pill may heal Bangalore woes
Friday August 6 2004 New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Union Minister of State for Planning M.V. Rajashekharan has suggested a creation of a corpus fund to solve Bangalore’s problems.

Speaking after inaugurating a two-day seminar on ‘Towards sustainable cities in India’ organised by the Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD) here on Thursday, he said 10 per cent of Bangalore City Corporation (BCC) and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) budget should be transferred to this fund.

Additional betterment charges should also be levied on lands adjoining outer ring roads, he said. ‘‘The prices of these lands have skyrocketed in the last few years. Real estate rates have gone up and landowners should contribute to development activities,’’ he added.

‘‘Infosys, Wipro and other firms should pay a part of their profits for infrastructure development,’’ he said, adding that ‘‘their concerns on traffic congestion need to be addressed’’.

Terming Infosys chief Narayan Murthy’s suggestion of constructing a flyover from Central Silk Board to Electronic City as good, he said another flyover from Trinity Church to IT Park was also needed.

On traffic congestion, he said, ‘‘We have 20 lakh vehicles for 65 lakh population and the number is expected to go up. We have to take action today... now.’’ The minister said the Centre (New Delhi) was planning to expand Urban Reforms Infrastructure Fund (URIF) by including more areas of reforms to develop six mega cities, including Bangalore.

He suggested creation of an umbrella agency by merging various centrally sponsored bodies aiming at infrastructure development in the cities.

Labour Minister Tanveer Sait and former chief secretary and CSD chairman Dr. A. Ravindra too, expressed concern over traffic congestion, waste management, drinking water and other problems affecting the city.


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