Monday, December 31, 2007

Bangalore Shining: Long on Promise, Short on Action

Bangalore Shining: Long on Promise, Short on Action

Basavaraj Itnal/ Newindpress

Bangalore, Dec 31: In his budget speech, deputy chief minister B S Yeddyurappa made big promises to the IT city.

He offered an underground expressway from Minsk Square to Hebbal Flyover that would enable commuters to zip to the new Bangalore International Airport (BIA) in about 20 minutes.

He also proposed an elevated expressway from Brigade Road to Central Silk Board. This, along with the Silk Board-Electronic City expressway was expected to cut the travel time for techies from the city to Electronic City to nearly 30 minutes.

Both the projects are still in the concept stage. Another dream project is to have a 30-km inner core elevated corridor connecting 50 important junctions in the city.

The Rs 3000 crore project remains a dream despite budget allocation for it. Bangalore Development Authority’s (BDA) only achievement in the year seems to be finalising the Master Plan.

Like all master plans, this also relaxed the green belt and opened up more areas for development. On the infrastructure front, a link on outer ring road was created near Magadi road and a flyover in Ramamurthy Nagar was completed.

The BDA shed some work load by transferring work on the peripheral ring road to National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

BDA will now go ahead with land acquisition for the work and hand it over to NHAI to lay a toll road. BDA announced five new layouts and about 2 lakh low cost flats, but none of them were finalised.

Dead palike: Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) completed two years without an elected body.

The Government is using formation of Greater Bangalore as a convenient excuse to ward off elections to the civic body. The officialdom of the Palike has done little to enhance the quality of civic services.

Greater Bangalore is expected to have nearly 140 wards and political experts feel that the councillors from new areas would play a crucial role in BBMP.

But elections to the civic body would not be conducted before the State goes to the polls. In the meantime, Palike will be headed by a part-time administrator.

Administrator Dilip Rau too made news of sorts when he gave assent to policy issues like introduction of Capital Value System of property tax and revision of betterment charges.

Such decisions are normally taken by an elected body. Beyond Greater Bangalore, new townships and ring roads are being taken up by Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA).

BMRDA has finalised proposals on satellite townships in Nandagudi, Solur, Bidadi, Ramanagar and Sathanur. Nandagudi SEZ has already been given to DLF.


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