Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Metro: PIB flashes green light; Gowda determined to scuttle it

Green signal despite hurdles
PIB Sends Minutes Of Meeting To Participants; Note To Go To CCEA
The Times of India

Bangalore: Bangalore Metro Rail will merrily chug along. It has got the green signal from the Public I nve s t m e n t Board (PIB) despite former PM H D Deve Gowda’s huffing and puffing. The PIB has sent the minutes of the meeting that cleared the Metro project to all the participants on Monday.

Sources said the PIB while sending the minutes observed that it had taken into account Gowda’s objections before deciding to go ahead with the project estimated to cost Rs 6,296 crore.

Now, the Union urban development ministry will prepare the Cabinet note and send it to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for its clearance. The CCEA is expected to meet shortly and give its approval.

The PIB had held back the minutes of the meeting following Gowda’s letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dated July 27, 2005, which was the second he had sent objecting to the high costs.

Meanwhile, chief secretary B K Das on Monday held a meeting in Bangalore with state and central government departments and government undertakings whose land is required for the project. All the departments have agreed to hand over land; appropriate compensation is being worked out. The Centre has to hand over 136.18 acres of land, out of which 101.75 acres have been already given by the defence ministry. Another 26 acres at Byapanahalli for the depot are being given by the NPCL.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation managing director K N Shrivastava said some buildings and schools will be demolished and relocated. Joint inspection for relocation will be held and the entire plan will be worked out.

Gowda not convinced

Bangalore: Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda continued his tirade against Metro Rail and the inter national airport projects on Monday terming them a waste of public money.

At a function organised at Chamarajpet Idgah maidan here to distribute ‘title deeds’ to slum dwellers in the Chamarajpet assembly constituency, Gowda said: “We will not allow public money to be wasted in this manner,’’ he stressed. Referring to the programme of distributing title deeds to the slum-dwellers, he said the poor must be not be ignored in development programmes. According to him, Bangalore has nearly 470 slums. “Owning a house is everyone’s dream. We will not disappoint anyone,’’ he said.

Along with the ‘title deeds’, each beneficiary will get a ration card, a health card and a prescribed quantity of foodgrains.

The function saw the residents from 23 slums coming under MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan constituency turn up.

But no rethinking, says CM

Hubli/Bangalore: The Metro Rail is on track and there was no rethinking at this stage, chief minister N Dharam Singh said in Hubli on Monday despite reservations expressed by JD(S) national president H D Deve Gowda on the issue.

“The state is pursuing the mass rapid transport project for Bangalore since 1992. Everything has been finalised by the cabinet. The state is going ahead with its decision,’’ Singh told reporters.

The CM sought to clarify that Gowda was not opposing the Metro Rail project. Singh said Gowda was told about a monorail project study for Bangalore done by some agency and he forwarded it to the PM. The state government had also considered the monorail option before deciding in favour of Metro Rail, he added. On the IT sector’s perception about lack of infrastructure in Bangalore to attract fresh investment, the CM said: “Work on the airport project has begun. BDA is spending Rs 491 crore on the hi-tech city. Metro project is on the way.”

On Nasscom president Kiran Karnik and Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia’s comments on Bangalore’s crumbling infrastructure, Singh told The Times of India that all major flyovers had been completed or were underway. Singh said he will ask BCC to take up works once the rains stop.


At Tuesday, August 30, 2005 at 9:31:00 AM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is wrong with this Gowda? Why is he thwarting all development efforts in Bangalore? The people of Bangalore MUST come together before this guy completely ruins the city. He has also distributed possession certificates to slum dwellers, in effect, regularizing the slums.
I have been a resident of Mumbai and have witnessed first hand the irrepairable damage that slums have done to the city. As a result, the city that was once the economic engine of the country has stopped growing economically. It is registering a poor 2% growth annually and has completely missed out on all the hitech action that has gone to other cities. All this was because of repeated vote bank politics practiced by parties over the years. Now the same is being repeated in Bangalore.


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