Saturday, October 29, 2005

Two models mooted for city

Two models mooted for city
Rain Havoc Forces Ministers To Go Into A Huddle
The Times of India

Bangalore: Enlightenment has finally dawned on the state government. After numerous rainhavoc inspections by powers-thatbe, the state cabinet on Friday mooted a common development blueprint for Bangalore and the seven CMCs that surround it.

Details of the plan have not been finalised. But the cabinet discussed whether an overall Bangalore Metropolitan Authority should be set up or whether the city and its surrounding areas should be divided into Bangalore-1 and Bangalore-2, and developed accordingly.

After the cabinet meet to discuss the rain havoc, information minister B Shivaram said: “We all realise the extent of the problem in Bangalore now, after the rains. If drains in the Bangalore City Corporation area are of one size, drains in the CMCs are of a different size. There is no coordination or planning, while unauthorised constructions have caused a lot of havoc.’’

Merits of both suggestions were discussed. If a BMA is set up, it would administer the entire region as one. Or if the IT City is split into Bangalore-1 (BCC area) and Bangalore-2 (CMCs and suburbs), taxation would be different for the two regions, but infrastructure planned would be integrated.
Shivaram said these details are expected to be finalised at the next cabinet meet, following which an official notification would be issued. “But all of us have decided that unified planning is a must, whichever way it is done,’’ he added.

Besides, the cabinet has authorised a sub-committee headed by deputy chief minister and revenue minister M P Prakash to decide on what action should be taken against unauthorised constructions and layouts. The option of regularisation or demolition will be taken based on the report, to be submitted in about a fortnight, by this committee, Shivaram said. Special facilities are being proposed for JD(S) national president H D Deve Gowda’s latest passion — slums. Shivaram said slum development, rehabilitation of houses that have been built on lakebeds and the poorer areas of Bangalore will be the focus of future plans. “We will also build 1 lakh houses state-wide to help those who have lost their homes in the rain.’’

With rain sweeping the state, austerity measures have been imposed on ministers, officials.
All foreign trips cancelled for ministers and officials. CM-led delegation to seek rain relief in New Delhi will be limited to as few persons as possible. All ministers and officials will remain in headquarters for the next 10 days. Diwali holidays will be given, but everyone has to remain on call to deal with relief work. All extra expenditure will be cut down; everyone asked to trim benefits. Austerity measures imposed at all levels till rain calamity subsides. Rajyothsava celebrations to be subdued.


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