Sunday, June 29, 2008

Govt motto: ABIDE by experts views

Govt motto: ABIDE by experts views
DH News Service, Bangalore:
Over 400 experts from various fields, including several residents welfare associations and civic organisations, participated in the day-long interactive workshop Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure Development (ABIDE) , organised by the State Government,

Roof for all, allocation of budget for the poor, completion of NICE project at the earliest, group houses, Metro and the Mono Rail. These were among the slew of suggestions that poured in during the day-long interactive workshop ‘Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure Development (ABIDE)’ held at Bangalore’s Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc) on Saturday.

Over 400 experts from various fields, including several residents’ welfare associations and civic organisations, participated in the workshop, organised by the State Government.

The gist of the workshop came at the end of the day when senior bureaucrats and civic organisations summed up their suggestions to the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues.

NICE Project

“The government should categorise projects as short term, middle term and long term and take action accordingly,” said Mohandas Pai. He recommended the completion of NICE project in two-three months for the benefit of commuters. “Barely a stretch of 400-500 metres of the NICE corridor is incomplete. If the project is completed, it will be the biggest gift to the Bangaloreans,” said Pai.

He also requested the Chief Minister to take up the other five corridors including Bangalore-Mysore, Bellary and Nelamangala on a priority basis. He wanted the BJP government to declare the second phase of Metro Rail project to ease traffic congestion.

“Bangalore makes up to 60 per cent of the total GDP of Karnataka, so there is no shortage of funds for Bangalore. There is need for a committee under your leadership,” said Pai.

The Principal Secretary of Energy Department and former BBMP Commissioner K Jayaraj suggested that the Metro Rail should be extended from BIAL to Dairy Circle. He also sought development of the peripheral road, the road link between Whitefield to Hosur, making the peripheral road signal free and rationalisation of bus shelters.
He said HAL Airport should be retained it would reduce the burden on the newly built Bengaluru International Airport. He asked the Chief Minister to develop Mono Rail as a substitute to the Metro Rail. The senior bureaucrat named eight bottleneck areas of the city - Kalasipalya, City Market, Majestic, Madiwala, Dooravani Nagar, Yeshwanthpur, Marathahalli and Padmanabhanagar. Another suggestion was related to a peripheral truck road and Elevated North-South Corridors (ENSC).

On the City’s lakes, Jayaraj drew attention to the BDA’s demand for Rs 7,000 crores to develop and beautify the water bodies.

Rectify water leakage

Prof KV Raju, HoD, Centre for Ecological Economics and Natural Resources, said there was a leakage of 40 percent of the potable water in Bangalore city.

This should be rectified and the lakes in Bangalore should be saved. He also sought good budgetary
allocation for the economically poor people.

“There is need for a proper solid waste management, improvement in air quality and checks and barriers for the industrial pollution. Besides, the BDA and KHB should allot flats instead of sites. The city should have proper footpaths and the dog menace should be addressed,” he suggested.

Dr A Ravindra in talk ‘Key Issues of Governance’ emphasised on the need for transparency, accountability, enforcement and the people’s participation.

“There should be linkage between the land use planning, socio-economic activities and budget. Preservation of heritage and cultural values are also equally important. Housing must be affordable to all, for which there is need for institutions which are based on a non-profit model. Instead of individual houses we should focus on Group Housing,” said Dr Ravindra. He suggested to give the City a directly elected Mayor versus Mayor-in-Council.


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