Friday, December 24, 2004

Narayana Murthy demands autonomous city corporation

Narayana Murthy demands autonomous city corporation
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Chief Mentor of IT giant Infosys N.R. Narayana Murthy made a passionate plea on Thursday to make Bangalore City Corporation (BCC) fully autonomous and for a Mayoral term to last five years.

In his video message for a talk show organised by CNBC TV 18 and Infosys at the Leela Palace here, he said Indian cities should be enabled to generate their own resources and plan for their development. When the BCC sets an agenda for development, the citizen will know what to expect from the civic body if the Mayor’s term is for a full five years.

He rued the lack of policy on integrated development of the cities’ infrastructure and demanded the city leadership to set up milestones for infrastructure development where users pay.

‘‘Privatise airports along with an open sky policy will boost tourist influx. Outsourcing airport maintenance can go a long way in giving the foreign visitor a better and lasting impression about our cities. Allow the private sector to create rail lines and allow them to run trains and outsource all railway hotels,’’ Murthy said.

Participating in the discussion, Mohan Das Pai of Infosys said that while Bangalore’s IT business has clocked an annual growth rate of 30 percent, its infrastructure grew by a mere 3-4 percent.

Founder of citizen’s forum Janaagraha, Ramesh Ramanathan, another panelist opined that the public system must become more effective with accounting and must enhance its tax base involving the primary stakeholders -- the citizen.

Other panelists were Samuel Paul of Public Affairs Centre, Ashok Kheny of Nandi Infrastructure, Bob Hoekstra of Philips Software and K.P. Krishnan from the Urban Development department.

Interestingly, all the panelists highlighted the fragmented approach of city planning and development with more than 10 agencies involved. All of them agreed that BCC, Bangalore Development Authority, CMCs, TMCs and all service providers must be brought under a single authority to enable effective governance.


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