Friday, March 24, 2006

Pay & park to be back in a month

Pay & park to be back in a month
BMP Budget Today; Same Projects Find Mention Year After Year
The Times of India

Bangalore: Exactly a year ago, the city was allowed to breathe a collective sigh of relief: the pay-and-park scheme was scrapped. But it is now all set to return in a bigger form in a month’s time — in a new avatar.

When the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) presents its budget for 2006-07 on Friday, this is one area the common man will be looking at most keenly. The BMP council had passed a resolution last year abolishing the scheme. But the government wants it back, and has asked BMP to come up with a viable scheme for priority roads.

BMP commissioner K Jothiramalingam says he has held meetings with the traffic police on identifying the roads. “The initial thinking was to duplicate the automated parking meter system on Brigade Road in other parts of the city. But we realised it would be expensive. Now, we are trying to come up with a user-friendly scheme where a nominal fee is charged.”

Otherwise, the civic budget may mention the same infrastructure projects that it has been trumpeting about for the past three years. In the south corridor alone, 11 projects have been finding prime mention. Only the National College flyover has been completed. In the west corridor, eight flyovers/subways are planned every year. Only two have reached fruition.

The other flyovers are in a limbo, either because the feasibility studies have negated them or because residents have opposed them. But that has not prevented BMP from planning and announcing 13 new flyovers.

Non-delivery reflects in other sectors too. Property tax, the highest revenue earner for BMP (over Rs 250 crore), was slated to be revamped from the Self-Assessment System (SAS) to Capital Value System (CVS).

This is not to be, for this being the election year, corporators apparently don’t want the ‘risk’ of a new tax regime. For that matter, BMP stands to rake in over Rs 300 crore from its 410 leased-out properties. But it just hasn’t acted on these properties.


Post a Comment

<< Home