Saturday, February 28, 2009

Metro Rail picks up speed

Metro Rail picks up speed

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I First three Reaches are on track I On MG Road, the BMRC is working on viaducts and has completed launching of girders or pre- cast segments

The state govern ment has approved the extension of the Metro line in both the northern and southern directions in the city, according to Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation chief engineer B.L.Y. Chavan.
The Metro will be extended in the north to Hesaraghatta Cross from Yeshwanthpur over a distance of 5.6 km. Six elevated stations will be built for this stretch at a cost of Rs 1,082 crore.

In the south the Metro will be extended from RV Road to Puttenahalli Cross over 3.7 km. Three elevated stations will be built along this line at a cost of Rs 681 crore.

Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) on extending the lines will be ready in the next four months, Mr Chavan added.

According to him around 96 per cent of the work under Reach — 1 of the project has been completed.

Barricades have been erected for demolition of more buildings and structures along the Maha Kavi Kuvempu (MKK) Road.

Under Reach — 2 of the project, work on widening the road between Magadi Road and Mysore Road terminal has been entrusted to the Karnataka Land Army Corporation (KLAC) and demolition of structures and buildings is underway.

Work on Reach — 3 between Swastik and Yeshwanthpur has been entrusted to IDEB — SUCC Consortium for construction of viaducts over 5,100 meters. Shifting of utilities by various departments is in full swing from Rajajinagar Station to Yeshwantpur Station.

Work on Reach — 4 from KR Road to RV Road has been entrusted to Nagarjuna Construction Company for design of viaducts. Soil testing and a geo-technical survey are underway in the area. The BSNL, BWSSB, Bescom and KPTCL are working to shift their utilities.

On MG Road the BMRC is doing work on viaducts and has completed launching of girders or pre-cast segments along four spans. Work is in progress on the girders in the fifth span. As contractor Navayuga’s hands are full a fresh tender has been called for launching girders to expedite the work here.

MG Road will be widened by removing green barricades as and when the girders are launched, Mr Chavan added.

Meanwhile, construction of six stations between Byappanahalli and Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium has been entrusted to IVRCL infrastructure Projects and IVRCL CR 18 G Consortium.

Stations will come up at Byappanahalli, Swami Vivekananda Road, CMH Road, near Usloor Police Quarters, Trinity and MG Road.

Work on the Byapanahalli depot such as fixing of reinforced earth panels and erection of boundary wall panels is underway. A 66 KV high tension line, which had obstructed the formation level at the depot has been dismantled, Mr Chavan said.

Freedom Park to be opened today

Freedom Park to be opened today

A monumental tribute to freedom fighters, the park will open with a show on their struggle and Emergency days

Santosh Kumar RB. Bangalore

Freedom Park, a monumental tribute to the sacrifices made by freedom fighters, will be opened by BJP leader LK Advani at 10.30am on Saturday.
Costing Rs10.17 crore, the park stands on the 20-acre land of the old Central Jail located on Sheshadri Road.
After the inauguration, an exhibition on freedom struggle and the dark days of Emergency will be held.
Freedom Park would be another attraction for tourists coming to Bangalore," city in-charge minister R Ashok said. It is proposed that the park will have the same type of light and sound show used at the Cellular Jail in Port Blair which was built by the British to punish freedom fighters.
A team of officials from the Bruhat Bangaluru Mahanagre Palike will be visiting the Andaman and Nicobar islands to study the system. Through sound effects, the show will bring alive the torture faced by freedom fighters.
The Freedom Park consists of an open air theatre for staging dramas, a museum showcasing the history of the Central Jail and freedom fighters, a gallery for art and photo exhibition, a heritage building, a library and a musical fountain.
Certain features of the jail like the tower, which is at the central point of the jail, the walls and the main gate will be preserved for visitors.
The authorities are planning to build a two-level underground vehicle parking facility. A crafts zone and coffee bars are also planned. The hospital of the old jail will be converted into a hotel.
While the park will occupy 20 acres, the remaining five acres of the old jail will be used for demonstration and protests, which are now being staged at the Mahatma Gandhi statue on MG Road.Showcasing history: The Freedom Park has an open air theatre for staging dramas and a museum

Terror and contempt rally

Terror and contempt rally

The meet is expected to have students five times more than the limit set by THE POLICE

Rashmi Belur. Bangalore

The grand preparations for the anti-terror rally is almost certain to cock a snook at the police top brass as the expected gathering of over 1.25 lakh students is five times the limit of 25,000 set by city Police Commissioner M Shankar Bidari.
While the police are expected to do a lot of explaining, it is the citizens of Bangalore who will bear the brunt of this convergence.
Showing clear contempt for the limit set by the police department, the higher education department has instructed the principals of colleges and zonal nodal officers not to scale down the mobilisation of the participants.
According to sources in the higher education department, the turnout is expected to cross 1.25 lakh. "The police commissioner has given the permission to conduct a rally only if the gathering is restricted to 25,000 people. The commissioner has also insisted that the number of vehicles ferrying the students should not cross 750," said a senior official from the department of higher education.
The department was actually planning to conduct the rally either at National College grounds or Kanteerava stadium. But it was forced to choose the Palace Grounds as the other two venues cannot accommodate a gathering of more than 50,000.
While the police commissioner has said that he will take action if the number of people attending the rally crosses 25,000, organisers didn't seem too worried.
"The police can't take any actions. They can just issue a notice, that's it. And the department can always say that people have come voluntarily," the organisers said.
Interestingly, Bidari himself is a member of the organising committee. Apart from him, other members include principal secretary higher education, commissioner collegiate education, Bangalore urban Deputy Commissioner, Bangalore regional commissioner, Central Inspector General of Police, BBMP commissioner, Registrars of Bangalore and Tumkur Universities among others.
Talking about the rally, the police commissioner said, "We have got lists from all colleges. There will be 700 buses to ferry students. We have arranged for extensive security. I am assuring that there will be no law and order problem on Saturday." He added that the police will take severe action if anyone tries to disrupt law and order.



Bangalore geared up for jam-packed rally today

MK Madhusoodan. Bangalore

It's being billed as the mother of all rallies and probably another bad day for city traffic. The state higher education department's anti-terror campaign rally at the Palace Grounds on Saturday will see over 1.25 lakh students from Bangalore and adjoining rural areas participating.
The city police, which had a tough time manning traffic during the JD(S) rally in November last year, is not taking any chances. The police have asked people to avoid Bellary and Nandidurga Road on Saturday. The two roads that connect the rest of the city to central Bangalore are the two main entry points for the rally venue.
Entry for vehicles to the Palace Grounds from Gayatri Vihar is also barred. The police have given clearance only for VIP vehicles. "There will be no entry for any other vehicles," assistant commissioner of police (traffic, east) Nagappa said.
Despite elaborate measures, the police are keeping their fingers crossed. City Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari had given permission for only 25,000 people but some senior police officials believe the numbers could swell.
"If that happens, we can't do much. We can only give a notice for violating the limit," a senior police official told DNA.
The 730 buses, which have been put on rally duty for the students, have not been given permission to park near the Palace Grounds. This means they would either be parked at CV Raman Road or Sadashivanagar, which are high-traffic areas. • Terror and contempt rally p2• Netas will have last laugh p4• The big rally headache p8• Ensure safe rally p14



The wait is finally over. With phase one almost complete, the promised Freedom Park will open today

Aarthi R | TNN

Bangalore: The gates will open to the Freedom Park on Saturday, with senior BJP leader L K Advani cutting the ribbon at 10.30 am.
The 21-acre Central Jail campus, once a dark mystery to the world, is now a befitting monumental park spread over 16 acres.
There is an all-new entry, with the old entrance, built in 1867, leading to the Jail Museum housed on the first floor, within high walls and gates. Much of the park resonates with a blend of ancient jail components and modern frames. Take a walk over the 1-km circular jogging track, and you get to explore it all.
Much of the panoptic plan, with a central watchtower and barracks lined radially around, remain intact. Two parallel walls a few yards from the entrance, a hallmark of the old campus, are some of the oldest structures. The watchtower, with a circular base, stands intact. Once the office of the chief warden, to keep strict vigil, it now offers a breathtaking view. As one starts up the wooden steps to the tower, it’s tempting to peek into a dark room below — deep, narrow and black, once the way to ‘correct the incorrect’. Now it is
open and painted — even the
painter is clueless as to the
number of coats it took to
turn it a dim white.
Six barracks — A to F — that once housed at least 25 inmates each, have got a new look. While Barrack E remains structurally intact, with walls and concrete beds, Barrack F is modified for the children’s play area. The beds have been removed and filled with sand to let kids slide in on their favourite ‘jaara bandis’. The other barracks have been innovatively modified — Barrack A has only beds that look like a walkway on a track, Barrack B is a flowerbed, an information corridor is housed in Barrack C and Barrack D is knocked off to make space for public functions.
The cell yard — the high-walled, sparsely-ventilated enclosure that once housed all undertrials — is a corridor bearing fading memories, with caricatures, love messages, names, numbers and even the plan of a traffic junction in the city!
There is an amphitheatre to seat 300, and a small theatre, apart from the heritage building and landscaping. The hospital block will be a double-storey building, the book museum with space for free art expression and a cafetaria on top — much of it to be taken up in the next phase.
The place that once housed the gallows is now a mound of mud. There are plans to bring in an imitation of the gallows at Belgaum Central Jail, but right now, it’s a place to sit and breathe in fresh greenery, away from the city’s madding crowd.
Three places at the park have been developed to harvest rainwater. There are close to 10 percolation pits and facilities for 114 sprinklers.
The remaining 5 acres have been made into a rally area over an underground cellar-parking zone, developed along the Swiss Challenge method.
Work on musical fountain around the watch tower for sound-and-light shows
Installing art works on main jail wall that runs for 0.5 km, also called ‘Freedom Wall’
Information corridor to be converted into multimedia gallery housing LED screens showcasing Karnataka
Children’s park area overlooking plaza space will have traditional games like hop-scotch and large chessboards
The Central Jail on Seshadri Road was built in 1865-66, after the first war of Independence in 1857. The 21-acre campus virtually divided the old city and cantonment during colonial rule.
It is an old project. BBMP officials estimated the cost at Rs 78 crore, in three phases. The first phase has been completed at Rs 17.35 crore. The tender was called during 2004 and work began in 2006. The proposal for the second phase awaits approval from JNNURM.
L K Advani, who will inaugurate it, shares special memories of his stay here during Emergency. Ministers Suresh Kumar and R Ashok will also be there. Various cultural programmes include a play on patriotism. “In the beginning, it will be open to all. Details of timings and tickets will be decided soon,” a BBMP official said.

Watch out for another day of jams

Watch out for another day of jams
DH News Service, Bangalore:
About 200 KSRTC buses and 100 BMTC buses have been arranged to transport students from Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Kolar, Chikballapur, Tumkur and Ramanagaram districts.

Thousands of students from six districts are expected to converge on the City on Saturday for a rally to mark the culmination of the BJP government’s controversial ‘anti-terrorism’ campaign at the Palace Grounds.

Although a high court order permits gatherings of only 25,000 people in the City, the number at the Saturday rally is likely to overshoot the 25K-mark, according to sources.

Several organisations, including the student wings of the Opposition parties, had threatened to protests the compulsory nature of the rally.

Members of the Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India were caned by the police earlier this month for attempting to disrupt a meeting of principals held in connection with the campaign.

Police commissioner Shankar Bidari said necessary precautions were being taken, including deployment of adequate police and traffic personnel, to ensure a peaceful rally.

Warning miscreants against taking the law into their hands, he said security measures were put in place to ward off potential disruption of the rally by vested interests.

About 200 KSRTC buses and 100 BMTC buses have been arranged to transport students from Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Kolar, Chikballapur, Tumkur and Ramanagaram districts.

Over a thousand law and order personnel and 500 traffic police personnel will man the gathering.

Honour for Sandeep

The family of martyred NSG commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan will be honoured at the function to be attended by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and senior BJP leader L K Advani.

On Tuesday, higher education minister had called a meeting of principals of all colleges affiliated to Bangalore University to insist that they encourage students to attend the function. But while the Education department denied there was any compulsion on colleges to send students, many institutions were not so sure.

For PU students, the minister himself had given a reprieve. Since they would be preparing for their examinations, they will not be asked to participate in the rally.

Power cut adds to water woes in City

Power cut adds to water woes in City
DH News Service, Bangalore:
There erratic water supply in different parts of the City for the last four days is in turn due to the erratic power supply or total shutdown that have affected pumping of water to different service stations.

Residents who complained to the local BWSSB service stations were informed by officials there that the quantum of water pumped to them was less and hence they were helpless. Even if the main pumping stations that bring Cauvery water to the City, T K Halli, Tataguni and Harohalli, do not get affected, shutdowns in local areas affect pumping of water to the 50-odd pumping stations spread across the City.

Rajkumar, a resident of Thamanna Layout in Lingarajapuram said that his area with 5,000 houses were reeling from water shortage for the last fortnight.

Joseph Menaud of Richards Town Residents Association said that the area suffered from reduced supply on Friday. The Pillana Garden area and John Armstrong Road suffered due to erratic supply of water, he said.

Homemaker Aruna, of Old Madras Road in Ulsoor, said that there was no drinking water in her area on Thursday and Friday. However, Mrs Chandrasekhar, who resides at Lingaiahpalyam of the same area said that water supply had actually improved in her area the last week.

Imtiaz Ahmed of HBR Layout Residents Association said that the Second Block in his area was affected by poor water supply for a month. “I have bought two tankers in just a month,” he added. The HRBR service station, which supplies us water, has been complaining of reduced water levels supplied to it.

Meanwhile, water tankers supplied water to different parts of the City. At Kempe Gowda Nagar in Tumkur Dasarahalli, residents paid Rs 1.50 for a pot of water from a tank.

The BWSSB head office at Cauvery Bhavan claimed that they did not receive any major increase in complaints of late.

A top official said that East and North Bangalore stand to get affected in the case of any shortage. “Whenever any power shutdown occurs at High Ground Reservoir, the water pumped to Malleshwaram, Machilipet and Aero Engine Reservoirs were affected.

Areas dependent on these places suffered as a consequence. Hence, Cox Town, Fraser Town, Cookes Town, D J Halli, HRBR Layout, OMBR Layout, Indira Nagar, R T Nagar, Malleshwaram, Jayamahal Extension, R M V Extension and Yelahanka were likely to get affected. A top BWSSB official said that discussions were on with BESCOM officials to solve the water disruption issue. “We are trying out alternatives to check if pumping stations and a few surrounding spots could be exempted from power disruption even if loadshedding takes place in an area.”


Bangalore, DHNS:
The Congress party has termed the BBMP budget as 'bogus' and have demanded revision of the budget in public interest.

Former Mayor Ramachandrappa told reporters at the KPCC office that there are no new ideas for the overall development of Bangalore and no provision for the basic amenities in the budget for the newly added areas.

He said the budget doesn’t have any projects for developing roads, underground drainage system and supply of potable water in the newly added areas. Tax should not have been collected before introducing the Akrama Sakrama Scheme, he added.


Bangalore, DHNS:
Chief Minister Yeddyurappa on Friday claimed that in next one year Bangalore City will wear a new look, on par with any world class city.

Replying to the discussion on the budget proposals for 2009-10 in the Assembly, the CM said that a good number of projects are being executed in the City.

"Flyovers are being constructed. A sum of Rs 550 core has been sanctioned for the Metro rail work The Freedom Park will be inaugurated on Saturday. There is no compromise when it comes to funds for the City development", he said.

Sound and Light show at Lalbagh

Sound and Light show at Lalbagh
Bangalore, DHNS:
The show, with a budget of Rs 3.5 crore, is directed by Vishwakumar and scripted by K Ramiah, Lakshmipathy Kola and K Y Narayanaswamy, music by Hamsalekha with artistic folk and classical elements.

Tracing the fight against casteism over 1,500 years of Karnataka’s history, the sound and light show with the theme Manushya Jaati Thaanonde Valam will be showcased on Saturday and Sunday from 7 pm to 9 pm at Lalbagh.

The show, with a budget of Rs 3.5 crore, is directed by Vishwakumar and scripted by K Ramiah, Lakshmipathy Kola and K Y Narayanaswamy, music by Hamsalekha with artistic folk and classical elements.

The show will trace champions of social justice in the state from Adi Kavi Pampa, to the Vachana composers - Basavanna, Akkamahadevi and Allama Prabhu, the Dasaparampara saints, the sufis, the Mysore Maharaja, Kuvempu to Mahatma Gandhi and Ambedkar. The Department of Information will hold 56 shows in various districts across the state.

State asks Centre to rename BIA

State asks Centre to rename BIA

CM B S Yeddyurappa wants it to be called Nadaprabhu Kempe Gowda International Airport


If Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has his way, Bangalore International Airport (BIA) will be renamed as Nadaprabhu Kempe Gowda International Airport.
“The state government will request the Centre to name BIA as Nadaprabhu Kempegowda International Airport,” the CM told the Legislative Assembly on Friday. The government zeroed in on Kempe Gowda, founder of Bangalore, after the Joint House Committee recommended three names - Kempe Gowda, Tipu Sultan and Sir M Visvesvaraya - to the state government for renaming the airport.
The request comes in the backdrop of a civil aviation ministry order that states that all new international airports should be named after the respective cities.
This is not the first time that the question of rechristening BIA has come up. Devesh Agarwal, the chairman of Infrastructure Committee of Bangalore Chamber of Industries and Commerce, said, “I am ambivalent towards it. But thankfully the airport is not being renamed after any of the current politicians. Kempe Gowda is the founder of this city and it makes sense to name the airport after him. He is the right person who needs to honoured.” But BIA authorities refrained from commenting on this. All they said was “We have yet to receive any intimation of the name change.”

Finally, an IIT for Karnataka

Finally, an IIT for Karnataka

Planning commission agrees in principle to allow the prestigious institute in the state, but Bangalore may miss out on the privilege


After a long struggle, the state has finally managed to get the nod to set up an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) of its own. Confirming the development, principal secretary, higher education, Srikant said, “It is true. The Commission has in principle agreed for the tech institute.”
Now, the State is waiting for an official communication from the HRD ministry which is expected to come soon. With this, the state is now on path to become the first in the country to house three prestigious institutes — an IIT, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India, however, may not get the privilege to house the institute. “We are yet to decide on the location. The issue will be discussed only after the official communication comes.” Sources said the Government may allocate the land either in Hassan or in North Karnataka.
An IIT has been a long pending demand from the state. Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa had personally sought the institute when he had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi.
Karnataka had lost the IIT to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh last year. Though two stalwarts, space scientist Prof U R Rao and Dan David awardee Prof C N R Rao had urged the Union Government to set up an IIT in the state, the government’s lack of initiative played the spoilsport.
U N Rao, who was heading a committee during the prime ministership of H D Deve Gowda, had short listed three states — Karnataka, Rajasthan or Gujarat and Orissa or Madhya Pradesh — for setting up the premier institute. On the other hand, C N R Rao also recommended Karnataka’s name in the new IIT list.
However, in both the recommendations, Bangalore did not figure as the location. While U N Rao had suggested the twin-cities of Hubli-Dharwad as an ideal location, C N R Rao said Bangalore was already choked and hence the IIT should be set up either in Mysore or in North Karnataka. There were also reports that Deve Gowda camp was feverishly pitching for Hassan.
According to experts, IITs would provide linkages and support the neighbourhood industries besides helping students and faculty members. They will also help human resource development and quality research and solve the shortage of teachers and PhD holders to an extent.
An IIT is a centre of excellence of higher training, research and development in science, engineering and technology. The institute would be a deemed varsity with powers to decide its own academic policy, to conduct its own examinations and award degrees.
In 1946, Sir Jogendra Singh, a member of the viceroy’s executive council, department of education, health and agriculture, set up a committee for setting up higher technical institutions for postwar industrial development in India. The 22-member committee headed by N R Sarkar, in its report, recommended launching four higher technical institutions in the eastern, western, northern and southern regions, on the lines of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, with a number of secondary institutions affiliated to it. The committee had felt that such institutes should not only produce undergraduates but should also engage in research, producing scholars and skilled teachers. The standard of the graduates should be at par with those from first class institutions abroad. They felt that the proportion of undergraduates and postgraduate students should be 2:1. According to the instructions, The first IIT was opened in May 1950 in Hijli, Kharagpur.
The seven
1. Delhi
2. Mumbai
3. Kharagpur
4. Kanpur
5. Roorkee
6. Guwahati
7. Chennai



Every city has its idiosyncracies. Here’s a list (far from exhaustive, of course) of how Bangalore is unique


Big B once sang, ‘Na tune signal dekha, na maine signal dekha, accident hoga.’ Obviously this song was not made keeping Bangalore in mind because this city is full of one ways - Mysore Bank Road, Brigade Road, Raj Bhavan Road, Vittal Mallya Road. But if you thought they are a bother, think again. They are the best place to learn some aerobics to lose that excess flab. Young children on MG Road and Brigade Road can teach you a thing or two with whips and small circles. Moreover, if you have itchy ears, then you can also do some shopping in these one ways. Here objects like ear buds, small towels, fake Ray Bans and of course magazines are available.
There might not have enough power or water but we will never run short of astrologers. It’s not uncommon to come across boards like, ‘Manjunath, PhD and Astrologer’. It is not uncommon to note advertisements on trees in the gardens of Jayanagar or Koramangala saying ‘Astrologer who can tell your past, future and make your present better.’ There will always be an arrow showing you the direction. And these soothsayers take themselves and their business very seriously. Suppose they have shifted their base, they will make sure that their fan following is aware of their new address. Their new board will read, “We have moved but your stars haven’t, so to keep a track of them meet us at..” again accompanied with an arrow.
Lucknow was the place of nawabs. But for Nawabi auto drivers you have to come to Bangalore. Their autos are designed in such a way that you will feel you are sitting in a miniature set of Jodha Akbar. Brightly lit with bulbs of various colour, these autos will also have a ceiling decorated with fake flowers. Not only that, the back of the seats also have speakers and many such autos also have CD players which plays romantic tracks from both Hindi and Kannada flicks. Such a royal decoration would be incomplete without a good romantic couplet. So it is not unusual to see couplets written behind the autos like, “aaj bhi tera intezar hai.” Or this famous dialogue from the blockbuster Mungaru Male, “Thanks kanri nandini, preethi vishyadalli nan kan theresidha devathe kanri neevu.”
To tweak Abraham Lincoln’s slogan on democracy a bit, Bangalore is the only city where mobiles are by the people, of the people and for the people. From the slums to the person residing in the 15th floor of a posh building, everyone will own a mobile phone. And sometimes its the person residing on the street who will have a set to die for. Sample these: You go to a boot polish boy and at that moment, his mobile starts ringing.
You don’t pay much attention, not until he takes out this swanky Nokia Express Music and starts talking while expertly cleaning the shoe with the other hand. Maybe you take an auto from Hanumanthanagar and you have an interview in exactly an hour at Vittal Mallya Road. Your auto has somehow managed to wade through the horrible city traffic and just when you thought you will be able to make it on time, your auto driver’s phone starts ringing. And he just parks his vehicle in the side and starts talking on his latest Motorola Rocker!
Bangalore was not christened IT City for nothing. While Electronics City might be the place where most IT companies are concentrated, some variant of an IT company can be found on almost every other street in the city. In fact rarely will you find a street that does not have a company that either ends with ‘Solutions’ or ‘Sys’. For example, Acoplare Infotech Solutions in Domlur, Adept Solution in Banashankari, Big Ben Solutions in Rajarajeshwarinagar and the list continues. Jayanagar, R T Nagar, Vasanthnagar, St Marks Road and many other roads all have at least one IT company. This feature is unique to the city.

Friday, February 27, 2009



Article Rank

BU plans to hold a massive valedictory function for the anti-terror campaign on Saturday. With the JD(S) rally that held the city to ransom still fresh in people’s memory, is Bengaluru readying for another ordeal, asks S. Raghotham

Ben galureans be warned: Do not have a heart attack on Saturday. Because if you do, chances are that you won’t be able to reach a hospital in time. For, Bangalore University plans to hold a massive ‘anti-terror’ convention, for which it expects tens of thousands of students from across the state to converge at Palace Grounds.
Remember what happened on November 17 when Deve Gowda-led JD(S) held a political show of strength at the same venue? The city came to a standstill from noon to midnight, and over a million Bengalureans suffered. Once again, on Saturday, ambulances won’t be able to reach hospitals in time and hapless patients will die on the streets; schoolchildren will be stuck miles away from school and home, and you will see the pathetic sight of these children begging strangers for biscuits and water; and all of Bengaluru will be stuck in one long traffic gridlock with the city police watching helplessly.

Is Bengaluru ready for a similar ordeal once again? To be sure, the high court on Thursday directed the city police commissioner to stick to the commitment he gave to the court in the wake of the JD(S) rally that the police will not allow any rally or convention of more than 15,000 people, and ensure that no such event will cause traffic jams and inconvenience to people.

But in all likelihood, tens of thousands of people will rush into the city on that day, and Bengaluru will sink into chaos. After all, it is a government-sponsored, politically-motivated convention, with the higher education department being in charge. The whole antiterror convention affair smells of impropriety even in its conceptualisation.

A court directive is unlikely to stop them. Just think about it: Before deciding to hold the convention, the ruling party – which is keen to prove its ‘anti-terror’ credentials – has scarcely given a thought to the havoc it would wreak on the city.

The convention is being conducted under the aegis of Bangalore University. This university is notorious for its corruption, ineptitude and low academic standards. It can’t get its examination system right; it can’t get its evaluation system right; it can’t discipline its casteist and goonda elements; it can’t even get its academics right. Yet, it pretends to be at the forefront of an ‘antiterror’ campaign. Just what does it expect to achieve?

Indeed, is it appropriate for a university to conduct a massive convention on an issue on which it has no bearing and to cause misery to an entire city? Isn’t the business of a university something entirely different from what Bangalore University is planning to do on Saturday?

On whose orders or to oblige whom is Bangalore University organising an ‘anti-terror’ campaign? Is it right for the university to not only become roiled in the politics of the State itself, but to politicise even its students?

Who is paying for all the expenses of bringing in the thousands of students from across the State into Bengaluru, putting them up and feeding them? Is it acceptable that so many of them should swarm into this already troubled city and wreak havoc?

Power, water supply to be hit in City today

Power, water supply to be hit in City today
Bangalore, DHNS:
To make things worse, water supply will be affected on Friday in parts of north and east Bangalore due to frequent power interruptions at Machilibet service station on Thursday...

It will be candles and hand-fans for many Bangaloreans on Friday and Saturday with little water to spare.

Several areas in Bangalore will go without power, with the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) carrying out maintenance work on most of its feeders.

To make things worse, water supply will be affected on Friday in parts of north and east Bangalore due to frequent power interruptions at Machilibet service station on Thursday.

If these are the issues of today, Minister for Excise and Water Resources, Katta Subramanya Naidu, made big promises, but for tomorrow. On Thursday, he talked about a scheme in the offing to ensure a problem-free supply of drinking water for the next 50 years in the city.

Here is the BESCOM work that will affect power supply: Commissioning of the bus coupler panels on Friday at the NRS station along with cable works on F-2 and F-10 feeders in Bangalore. Tushar Girinath, MD, BESCOM, said the maintenance works carried out by the company was in consultation with the Karnataka Power Transmission Company Limited.

“We are trying to ensure power supply in the long-term, free from shut downs, and I think it is a good decision,” he said.

Meanwhile, the water shortage problem is bound to get worse for residents in pockets of Sanjaynagar and Malleswaram in the north, besides Devarajeevanahalli, Pillana Garden, HBR Layout and HRBR Layout in the east.
“The quantity of water supplied will be reduced,” he said.

But, as another source put it, the problems would not be spread across Bangalore. “The City would not be affected in a big way, since there has been no power disruption at Somanahalli Central Grid, from where the main pumping stations of T K Halli, Tataguni and Harohalli draw power.”

Regulate anti-terror rally traffic,orders HC

Regulate anti-terror rally traffic,orders HC

Express News Service First Published : 27 Feb 2009 03:54:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 27 Feb 2009 10:01:27 AM IST
BANGALORE: The High Court has directed the Bangalore City Police to regulate traffic for the concluding session of the anti-terror ceremony to be held in Palace Grounds on February 28, 2009.
While hearing the public interest litigation filed by Janagraha, a city-based NGO, the division bench comprising Chief Justice P D Dinakaran and Justice S R Bannurmath directed the Commissioner of Police to make an arrangement to regulate the traffic. The petitioner argued that the city police had again given permission to hold huge rally that is expected to be attended by around six lakh participants on concluding programme.

Ashok gives full marks to Volvo buses

Ashok gives full marks to Volvo buses

Express News Service First Published : 27 Feb 2009 03:38:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 27 Feb 2009 09:14:18 AM IST
BANGALORE: Losses on some routes notwithstanding, the advertisement revenue from Volvo buses in Bangalore was termed 'encouraging' by Transport Minister R Ashok on Thursday.
Buoyed by this success, he said that the government intends to increase their fleet strength.
Ashok informed the Legislative Council that each bus raked in about Rs 15 lakh to Rs 24 lakh in advertisements since its inception in January 2006. If the trend continues, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation can recover the procurement cost in three years, he said.
Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said that the government will consider offering passes for legislators on Volvo's BIA (Bangalore International Airport) route.
H e was responding to observations by some members that their preference for these buses will further popularise the service, besides cutting down expenditure on official transport. On Sundays and national holidays, the buses offer service at a flat rate of Rs 5

Temperatures 3 degrees higher in Bangalore

Temperatures 3 degrees higher in Bangalore

Express News Service First Published : 27 Feb 2009 04:06:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 27 Feb 2009 10:09:34 AM IST
BANGALORE: Bangaloreans can expect hotter days ahead, with mercury levels showing an upward trend and leaving citizens of the ‘Garden City,’ longing for that cool breeze.
Weather officials say, “It is going to rise further and break the past record. It is abnormal.” The city which had a normal temperature of 31 degrees, is currently experiencing a two-degree rise. But if the trend continues, weather officials say, the rise as compared to previous years could be up to four degrees.
“Studies in microclimatology show that in cities there are temperature variations of up to almost three and four degrees, due to urbanisation and reduction in vegetation and natural tree cover.
Everywhere you will notice that urban concrete absorbs radiation and then radiates that heat leading to increased temperatures,” said director of meteorological department, A Muthuchami.
Professor Raje Gowda, of agri-met department, said, “There was inadequate North-East monsoon rainfall last year. This has led to lack of moisture, pushing the temperature up.” He said, “There could be an early rainfall in March, as against usual summer showers in April and May. “Severe summer affects the rabi crops adversely. The same could force early maturity in mango crops,” Gowda added.

Elevated highway to be ready soon

Elevated highway to be ready soon

Mohammed ShariffFirst Published : 27 Feb 2009 04:00:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 27 Feb 2009 12:54:57 PM IST
BANGALORE: Come May, Bangalore will have first-of-its-kind nine-kilometre elevated highway linking Silk Board Junction and Electronics City. The project is being undertaken by Bangalore Elevated Tollway Ltd (BETL). The project is in the final stages of completion and will be thrown open to the public by the last week of May.
The highway will ease traffic flow and cut travel time. “At present, it takes almost 45 minutes to cover this distance. The highway will bring down the time to just 10 minutes,” said Manoj Kumar, Project Director of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
The highway is a four-lane overhead service. also there would be a main carriage way on the ground level, which will have three lanes on either sides and a two lane service road on either side, which will be totally 14 lanes.
“The prime idea was to address the menacing traffic problems on Hosur Road and Electronic City stretch in South Bangalore, providing signal-free flow of traffic, Kumar, added. According to NHAI, the work had under taken in two stages. In the first instance, the contractors called Soma Enterprises, Nagarjuna Construction Company and Maytas infrastructure had undertaken the ground work by widening the existing four-lane road and making service roads and provisions for drainage.
E lectronic City Industrial Association (ELCIA) stated that elevated highway, this mammoth project, executed by a consortium of three construction companies, is scheduled to be operational soon. ELELCIA has been the coordinating agency for the project. Being one of the longest elevated highways in the country, state of the art technology has been applied in its construction.
This involves off-site pre-cast modular interlocking segments being linked together serially on site.
People living in by the sides of this special highway feels that with the completion of the project, the IT industry hopes to get relief from traffic bottlenecks.

eddyurappa: I have a special plan to clear the traffic mess

eddyurappa: I have a special plan to clear the traffic mess
By: B V Shiva Shankar Date: 2009-02-27

But just wait a bit, he tells Bangaloreans in an exclusive interview to mark his 67th birthday

MiD DAY met chief minister B S Yeddyurappa yesterday on the eve of his 67th birthday. He spoke about a range of Bangalore concerns: traffic, roads, Metro, outsourcing, pubs and art.

MiDDAY: How does it feel to celebrate your birthday as the first BJP chief minister of the south?
Yeddyurappa: I have completed 66 years and am entering my 67th year tomorrow. But I don't feel I am that old. I still feel young. Young in mind and action. I am always restless and in a hurry.

I have many goals to reach and many things to do. I am not keen on celebrating my birthday grandly. I would like to pay a visit to some temple and offer prayers. That is my usual practice.

I am visiting Tirupati this birthday. I will offer prayers in the morning and return to Bangalore to resume work.

Young man in a big hurry

As for celebrating my birthday as the first BJP chief minister of the south, I don't feel any special. I have decided to keep a low profile on my birthday as long as I am in office. Also, I have decided not to accept garlands or gifts hereafter.

MD: Bangaloreans have several questions for you as you go in for elections. Are you going to address them, or is your priority going to be the villages?
BSY: My government attaches equal importance to the development of rural and urban areas. Bangalore, being the capital, naturally receives our utmost attention.

A fifth of the state's population lives in Bangalore and nearly half of the state's tax revenue comes from Bangalore. We have earmarked Rs 3,000 crore for Bangalore's development in 2009-10.

Providing new infrastructure matching global standards is among our top priorities. We have upgraded 1,187 km of road in Bangalore this year and would like to upgrade the main roads by spending Rs 2,000 crore under the private-public partnership model.

MD: What are your plans for IT and BPO sectors, now that Obama has said he is going to stop outsourcing to India?
BSY: We would like to retain the primacy Bangalore enjoyed in the area of IT and BPO sector. Even if America stops outsourcing, we'll explore other destinations abroad, besides encouraging domestic business.

MD: When will work on Namma Metro be completed, and why is it behind schedule? Can you give us a specific date when Bangaloreans can ride the Metro?
BSY: The first phase will be completed and commissioned by September 2010. And the entire project will be completed by 2012. Though the Metro was moving at a snail's pace initially, it is now on the fast track.
During the last nine months, Rs 450 crore has been spent on it, and that amounts to 50 per cent of what has been spent so far. The state government has allocated Rs 600 crore as its contribution for the project for 2009-10.

MD: How do you plan to decongest Bangalore roads? Are you thinking of encouraging public transport and discouraging cars? Are you worried about the Nano and the pressure on the roads that the small car will bring?
BSY: Bangalore definitely needs to be decongested. I cannot reveal the strategy as the legislature is in the session. You will come to know our steps in a while.

MD: You have said you are against pub culture. Bangalore has already banned dancing, and is enforcing an 11 pm deadline. How do you make Bangalore a world-class city that attracts top professionals and artistes?
BSY: Pub culture is not our culture. However, I am not against pubs. But decency should be maintained in public places, whether in pubs or other places.

MD: But it was reported that your daughter supported pubs?
BSY: My daughter never supported pub culture. She only said it was for individuals to decide. Nobody can justify indecent acts in public places.

MD: What about minister Ramachandre Gowda's attack on modern art? How do you react to the idea that your government is against liberal expression, and is saffronising everything, including the 'fight against terror'?
BSY: My government is not against liberal expression. But indecent portrayal of gods and goddesses is deplorable. We are not interested in saffronising anything. The fight against terror is the need of hour. We are taking steps to enlist the support of everyone in this regard.

MD: Karnataka is a multi-cultural, multi-religious state, and many are saying your government is polarising communities. How do you plan to bring communities together, especially in tense places like Mangalore?
BSY: We believe in peaceful coexistence of all communities. Communal harmony is our topmost priority. We have formulated a programme to support institutions and individuals involved in promoting pace and harmony.
We offer financial support for the cause in the 2009-10 budget.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Projects make steady progress

Projects make steady progress

Aarthi R | TNN

They were announced with much fanfare but now at different phases of development. Pedestrian subways using pre-cast technology were done in record time of 24 hours, schemes like Sakrama and Litter Cops yet to take off, a few roads still waiting to be widened, delayed by PILs and a few others like the elevated corridor on Dr Rajkumar Road modified into a signal-free road due to non-feasibility.
According to BBMP commissioner S Subramanya, at least 80% of the projects listed last year have been initiated. The elevated corridors proposed at busy roads as part of the major infrastructure initiatives have also had mixed success. The feasibility report for the elevated corridor on Mysore Road from Sirsi Circle till Kengeri has been prepared. The final alignment drawing is under preparation by BMRTC. The DPR for the elevated corridor at JC Road has also been prepared and suggestions are under review.
However, the one proposed at Dr Rajkumar Road — from Rajajinagar entrance to Yeshwantpur junction — that was found not feasible has now been modified and included this year, will now be a signal-free road.
Road widening was a bit slow. Nearly 91 roads over 144 km had been identified for smooth traffic flow. While a few like Kasturba Road, Hosur Lasker Road, Hennur Road, Banaswadi Road and Sarjapur Road are complete, the Bellary Road, Race Course Road and Palace Road are in various stages of completion. Delays in obtaining road-cutting permission and legal hurdles have hit the pace of work.
Building roads over storm water drains was yet another ambitious proposal last year. While two of the four roads proposed under the Swiss Challenge method have failed the feasibility test, the other two are slowly progressing. The proposal for one has been received and the alignment map for the other is being prepared. The DPRs have been prepared for the construction of Sewage Treatment Plants at 13 places. Work has started at four places using pre-cast cement technology. Work on developing a portion of the Vrishabhavathi Valley into a model river front on the lines of the Sabarmati river valley development project has also begun and is expected to continue this year as well.




Going by the BBMP budget, Bangalore will be a greener, fresher place to live in. The Palike has doubled the allocation for green initiatives. The total amount is Rs 148.50 crore, which would include lake conservation, tree planting, planting trees on widened roads, tree transplantation, development of parks, alternative energy and other measures. For conservation of the existing 17 lakes, a project report with works of Rs 179 crore has been submitted to the government. But a separate Rs 96 crore has also been added to maintain all 17 lakes, besides three others. Money has been allotted for landscaping of bus bays, construction of artificial waterfalls, fountains and beautification of open spaces.
Around 300 trees were transplanted in 2008-09 — this initiative will be further strengthened this year. Road widening, construction of underpasses, bridges
and flyovers will lead to increased transplantation of trees. Scientific management of tree canopies by pruning and topping is also on the cards.
BBMP has come up with an idea of creating tree parks instead of lawns, that are expensive to maintain; for this, six locations in the city have been identified. Solar power will be used to light parks, streets and underpasses. Of 841 parks in Bangalore, 550 have already been developed, the remaining 290 will be completed this year. At least 40 acres of land alongside the storm water drain network will be planted with trees.
There is also a plan to ensure provision for rainwater harvesting units at the time of plan sanction of each building. The recycling of plastic waste for asphalting of roads will be ensured for all asphalting work projects under BBMP. The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) has recently undertaken an energy audit study for BBMP, and these recommendations will be implemented in all BBMP offices.

BBMP’s budget chants infrastructure mantra

BBMP’s budget chants infrastructure mantra

Hopes To Mop Up Rs 1,100 Crore From Property Tax


Bangalore: It’s infrastructure all the way and the idea is to spend more money towards reducing travelling time on city roads.
For once, the BBMP talks about short-term plans and finishing pending works to make a visible difference. Pedestrians and the urban poor, the hitherto ignored community, have now found a prominent space.
The BBMP’s budget estimates for 2009-10 is not a bag of big promises, but focuses on finer aspects of development dealt in packages with shorter deadlines. Presented on Wednesday by BBMP commissioner S Subramanya to administrator Dilip Rau, the civic body’s third budget without the elected council, has an outlay of Rs 4,238.41 crore with a revenue projection of Rs 3,959.29 crore.
What’s new? The signal-free corridors, seamless travel on Outer Ring Road, quick-fix grade separators and pedestrian subways and a brand new forked-steel flyover. And to realize the package, revenues have also been upped. A Rs 1,100-crore target is fixed for property tax collections.
The BBMP, which is still behind its liability mark, plans to borrow heavily for capital investments — in total, Rs 2,857 crore has been set aside for infrastructure development that includes road-related projects, drains, solid waste management and ward works. Four corridors — Hosur-Laskar Road; Old Airport Road; Dr Rajkumar Road and Mehkri Circle to Benniganahalli Road — will be made signal-free; 40 new locations have been identified for underpasses.
The Ring Road from Central Silk Board junction to Mysore Road will be made signal-free with 11 underpasses at a cost of 83 crore. Nearly 33 places have been identified for ROB-RUB and eight have been concertised.
The pedestrian-friendly BBMP has promised to build 16 skywalks with escalators; work on the first one will begin shortly on Palace Road. A new steel bridge near Lalbagh Main Gate has been promised at a cost of Rs 35 crore for which Rs 20 crore has been allocated this year. The deadline for completion is 18 months.
The BBMP has also evinced interest in renewing the mono rail proposed by the government and will soon have talks about freezing the alignment with BMRC, said Subramanya after the budget presentation.
Addressing reporters, Subramanya said apart from infrastructure, greater thrust has been given to Green Bangalore initiative with eight entrances to city being beautified. Building by-laws will be modified to accommodate rainwater harvesting.
While last year was spent in felling trees for road widening, much to the agony of environmentalists, the coming year, will see massive tree replantation and beautification of widened roads. Conservation of 20 lakes has been planned at Rs 96 crore.
The long-drawn storm water drain projects will finally see completion this year.
GREATER PLANS 220 pedestrian subways, 16 skywalks with escalators, 40 underpasses
Dr Rajkumar Road to be made signal-free
New computerized grievance redressal system
New underpass at Chennamma Circle
7 sewage treatment plants
Development of 290 parks
Rs 533 crore for welfare sector
Parking lots on PPP at 14 places

Billion dollar promise for city

ion dollar promise for city

Article Rank

BBMP budget 2009-10, one of the biggest, focuses on infrastructure development in Bengaluru, making huge allocations for flyovers, magic boxes, roads, lakes and even tree-planting, says Chandrashekar G.

Here’s a project that many Bengalureans will look forward to.
The 2009-10 Budget for the city has announced that traffic at the busy JC Road Junction will be stream lined either with a metal flyover or tunnels, which are being considered as an alternative keeping the aesthetics of Town Hall in mind.

Another metal flyover will be constructed in front of the Lalbagh main entrance, according to BBMP com missioner S. Subramanya, who presented the Budget estimates to administrator Dilip Rau on Wednesday.

A project which most Ben galureans are bound to wel come is the scheme to clean up the smelly Vrishbhavathi valley on the lines of Sabarmati River front project. The valley is in for a radical change of face if the BBMP remains true to its word and uses the funds allotted for turning it into a recreational spot. The civic agency has promised to set up seven sewage treatment plants to treat the mosquito breeding, foul smelling water of the Vrishbhavathi. Importance has been given to improving connectivity to BIA. Magic boxes are being planned to connect the northern parts of the city to the airport using precast elements.

Some of the spots where the boxes will be built are Jalahalli Air Force Station, Yalahanka Coffee Day, Koramangala-Sarjapur Road, Jakkur Circle, Kempegowda Circle at Yelahanka, Reva College and near Thanisandra Road. The BIA has agreed to open an additional gate in its cargo section to help reduce traffic congestion on Bellary Road, Mr Subramanya said.

There’s good news on the lake front. Twenty lakes are set to get a fresh lease of life at a cost of Rs 96 crore. These include Dorekere, Nayandahalli, Puttenahalli kere, Herohalli, Attur, Allalasandra, and Ambalipura.

There are proposal to plant saplings at all major junctions, bus stands, on either sides of widened roads, and to translocate uprooted trees.

Money has been pumped into both on-going projects and new initiatives to tackle the increasing traffic problem confronting the city. The BBMP has drawn up plans to upgrade roads, including four major corridors, construct 220 pedestrian under passes and 16 skywalks across the city. The civic agency aims to complete eight underpasses by the end of the financial year. Conventional grade separators will be built at Chennamma Circle, Puttenahalli and Kadirenahalli to make the Outer Ring Road stretch from Central Silk Board to Mysore Road signalfree. Road Over Bridges and Road Under Bridges will be constructed at 33 spots including Kadugondanahalli, Byappanahalli, Papamma Block, and Allalasandra. Roads leading to Bellary Road from Jakkur Flying Club, Kyalasanahallli, Hennur Ring Road, Kannur, Tindlu and GKVK will be widened and strengthened with funds from the Infrastructure Development Department, according to the commissioner.

Roads leading to newly added areas to the BBMP including 110 villages, have been given a special allocation.

Projects on track’

rojects on track’

Article Rank

I Report gives thumbs up to BBMP I

Work is on in full swing on widening 91 city roads stretching over 144 km as promised by the BBMP in its last Budget, according to the Action Taken Report (ATR) presented with the current Budget estimates on Wednesday.
Some of the roads are on the verge of completion while in others 70 of the work has been done, the ATR says. Over 80 per cent of the work on widening the Bellary and Race Course Roads has been completed, while 40 per cent of the work has been done on Palace Road and Hosur Road, it adds The report says that bus bays have been built on Nrupathunga Road as scheduled and the road alignment between Platform Road and Sheshadri circle has been finalised. It maintains work will begin shortly on the promised road between Rajiv Gandhi Circle and Srirampuram underbridge to provide direct access to Yeswanthpur from Platform Road.

The report claims that much progress has been made on building underpasses and grade separators at six of the promised seven spots, which include the Gali Anjanaya temple, Yeswanthpur circle, Nagavara-Ring Road junction, HennurBanasvadi Ring Road, Kadirenahalli Ring Road, Puttenhalli Ring Road, CNR Rao Circle and Tagore Circle. However, it reveals that the planned elevated road from Rajajinagar entrance to Yeshwanthpur Junction has been dropped after it was not found feasible. Instead the road will be converted into a signal-free stretch. The feasi bility report on the Mysore Road elevated corridor from Sirsi Circle to Kengeri is ready and the BMTC is drawing the final alignment.

The ATR admits to a partial setback in the plan to construct roads over storm water drains, explaining that it has not been found suitable for the stretch from KH Road to the Inner Road in Koramangala and also between Airport Road and Bellandur Tank in Challaghatta. However, the report assures the project will be carried out between Old Madras Road and the Airport Road in Challahatta valley using the Swiss challenge method. A map has been prepared for the stretch between Outer Ring Road and Raja Canalin Hebbal valley.

According to the ATR following the self assessment scheme approved in January 2009, the revised estimate for property tax is Rs 400 crore for 2008-09.

Infrastructure must be given main priority especially in the newly added areas including 110 vil lages. Since, they are part of BBMP they should be brought on par in terms of infrastructure.

Samuel Paul, chairman, Public Affairs Centre Though BBMP has been talking about solid waste management, the system needs to be reorganised. Development of roads and new magic boxes has been given priority in the budget.

N.S. Ramakanth, president, RWA, Kumarapark West Along with proposed PPP road maintenance projects by the state gov ernment and the road maintenance project by the BBMP if used well this budget could have a multiplier effect.

Rajeev Chandrashekhar, MP

Garbage proposal raises a stink

Garbage proposal raises a stink

Garbage dumps will be set up across the city for waste segregation

Vaishalli Chandra. Bangalore

It looks like the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has finally cracked the code on the city's ever-rising garbage problem.
If all goes as planned, the city will soon have de-centralised waste segregation units at various locations. But residents may not be ready to turn up their nose. After all, the stench may not be easily ignored. But a dumping yard in your area may soon be a reality.
Two hundred transfer or disposal points have been identified by the Palike in the city where solid waste will be segregated and processed.
The civic body has prepared the first-ever master plan for solid waste management and is all set to get the green signal from the urban development department.
BBMP has allocated Rs249.58 crore towards solid waste management in its 2009-2010 budget. This will include expenditure for the de-centralised waste segregation units among many others (Box on SWM).
De-centralised waste segregation units to be established at various locations. This means that BBMP will identify transfer locations or points within an area where the collected garbage will be dumped.
It will then be segregated into biodegradable and non-biodegradable. The organic waste will be processed and used as compost that can be used in BBMP parks. Plastic will be segregated and processed to be used as a binder for asphalting roads. Non-biodegradable wastes will then be sent to landfill sites.
"At present, garbage is collected from the doorstep and is dumped at landfill sites which are situated some 50-60 km away from the city," says J Manjunath, former BBMP chief finance officer. But this is not a permanent solution for a city that produces 3,500 tonnes of waste everyday.
Citing the problems faced during waste disposal, Manjunath said, "Waste collection and disposal is outsourced and is hence service on contract basis. Many a times, contract lorries face protests from villagers who do not allow them to dump the garbage in the landfill. Sometimes, these lorries also dump garbage in storm water drains or in vacant sites."
He also pointed out that the undertaking could be very expensive.

Freeing the city from floods

Freeing the city from floods

Senthalir S. Bangalore

Monsoon spells nightmare to Bangaloreans. The next rainy season may not be so, if plans in the new BBMP budget are any indication.
The BBMP budget for 2009-10 has allocated Rs200 crore for the development of the storm-water drain network in the city.
The palike has prepared a detailed project report for the construction and remodelling of the storm water drainage (SWD) network.
It will be submitted to the Government of India shortly for funding under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme.
The ongoing works in four major valleys — namely Challaghatta, Koramangala, Vrushabavathi and Hebbal — will be expedited during this financial year.
The Palike intends to develop a portion of the Vrushabavathi Valley into a model river front on the lines of the Sabarmathi River Valley Development project.
"We had sought Rs150 crore for this project. But we have received Rs200 crore. The work on storm water drains will be taken up stage by stage. We have identified 25 critical points for the implementation. These critical points include major flooding areas of the valley like Magadi Road, Nayandahalli, Gangondanahalli, Chandra Layout and Metro Layout. The areas will be cleared of waste material that is choking the drain. We will also utilise the budget allocation to build concrete and retaining walls for the storm water drains," said SD Siddagangappa, chief engineer, SWD.
Siddagangappa added that this move will not only help reduce flooding in areas, but will also help reduce the stench emanating from these drains.
Besides, in a special initiative Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) will be installed at seven locations across the city.
BBMP commissioner S Subramanya said that at present drainage water is directed into storm water drains leading to several problems, like blockage of inlet pipes by the dirt.
At present there are 40 inlets into the Vrushabavathi Valley. The BBMP has now proposed to construct sewage treatment plants wherein this drainage water is treated.
This will ensure that only rain water flows into storm water drains and the treated water will be free of material that can block drains, reducing the possibility of the flooding of low lying areas.
Underlining that storm water drains should be designed based on the contours of the city, Dr AS Kodandapani, a member of the infrastructure committee in the chambers of commerce, said: "The BBMP should design the storm water drains in such a way that it is narrow upstream and broader downstream. People are letting drain water into the valley and have polluted it. Measures should be taken to stop this. Only then will the SWD project be successful. The B Ashwathnarayan report on the SWD project should also be implemented properly."

More lung spaces in offing

More lung spaces in offing

Bosky Khanna. Bangalore

The Palike's record in maintaining the city's existing green spaces may be poor. But that has not stopped the civic body from allocating in its budget for 2009-10 Rs148.50 crore to its horticulture wing and Rs16.65 crore to the forest cell for enhancing and creating more lung spaces in the city.
While this measure taken by the BBMP officials has been appreciated, experts say that no plans or efforts are being made to maintain the existing lung spaces.
According to environmentalist AN Yellappa Reddy, "Spaces near storm water drains are available. But the BBMP must ensure that existing areas are first maintained. There is no mention of maintaining and developing lung spaces in residential areas, government schools and offices. Rather than focusing on new projects, BBMP must protect remaining spaces, create awareness among people by involving local communities and make a green brigade.''
In the meanwhile, BBMP's green Bangalore initiative plans to develop 20 lakes including those in Belandur, Puttenhalli, Kalkere, Kodigehalli, Uttarahalli, Yelahanka, Kaikondanahalli, Balayyana and Alasandra. A detailed project report worth Rs179 crore has been prepared and submitted to the central government for conservation of 17 lakes under JNNURM.

Bangalore roads awash with Rs1,525 cr

Bangalore roads awash with Rs1,525 cr

Four major thoroughfares including old airport road and dr rajkumar road will become signal-free this year

Santosh Kumar RB. Bangalore

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has paved the city roads with a Rs1,525-crore allocation in its budget for 2009-10.
The whopping allocation is for the development of the city's road infrastructure. In stage I, the Palike intends to make the major arterial roads in the city signal-free corridors.
Four roads — Hosur-Laskar Road, Old Airport Road, Dr Rajkumar Road and a road from Mekhri circle to Benniganahalli — have been identified for this purpose. The budget also promises to make 12 other roads signal free in the next two years.
BBMP officials said that the signal free roads would help to avoid traffic jams at peak hours too.
"The Old Airport Road, one of the corridors considered under the project, connects the Old Airport road with Whitefield. After the completion of the signal free road motorists can drive up to 16 km on the road without a single stop," said an official. He added that the signal free road would help the vehicle users along North-East Bangalore as the corridor connects Marathhalli and other areas along the Old Madras Road. The 12 km-road stretch between the Mehkri Circle and Benniganahalli Road, is another road under the project.
"The road cutting through Jayamahal road, Nandidurga road and Ulsoor tank provides a smooth passage to vehicles users approaching the Old Madras Road," said another official. The 8.4km road stretch of Dr Rajkumar road beginning from the Yeshwanthpur-Mysore Sandal soap Factory junction to Okalipuram Entrance, would help the motorists entering the city from West Bangalore along Tumkur Road, a lot.
Around six kilometres stretch of the Hosur Laskar Road from the Vellara junction to the Silk Board junction will also be made signal free. "We will be using pre-cast technology to build underpasses," said another official.
Even though civic analysts feel that the projects have the potential to decongest road traffic, they see a lot of hurdles at the ground level when it comes to project execution. "There are chances of the proposed Metro alignment along the Rajkumar Road clashing with the signal free project," said Dinakar R, a civic analyst. The civic experts said that the effectiveness of the project also depends on how fast the Palike installs the magic-box underpasses.
"BBMP promised to install a magic-box at Cauvery junction in three days but took months to finish it. The promise to make the road to the BIA is also pending," said civic analyst Dhananjay K.

BBMP presents budget on the sly

BBMP presents budget on the sly

Top civic officials did not know that the budget was being presented

Media was kept in the dark and was invited only at the eleventh hour

Rohith BR and Bosky Khanna. Bangalore

Forget the lay Bangalorean, even top officials of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) themselves were not aware that the civic body would present its budget for 2009-10 on Wednesday.
Usually, the civic body alerts the media a day prior to the tabling of the budget.
But on Tuesday, the media was kept in the dark that the civic body's budget would be presented the next day.
In fact, DNA's efforts to get the Palike confirm when exactly it would table the budget failed to evince convincing replies.
But Wednesday dawned on the Palike in a feverish pace. Around 11 am, Palike public relations officer Bheemappa Khandre was asked to invite media over phone.
"Till 11 am I had no clue about the budget presentation," Khandre later admitted.
By the time the media gathered at the conference hall of Palike Head office at Hudson Circle it was past 12 noon and the presentation began.
Last year, the BBMP had organised a pre-budget discussion with former mayors and corporators.
This year, the city fathers were not just kept in the loop.
A furious former mayor M Ramachandrappa, who arrived at the BBMP head office on hearing about the budget presentation, said neither public nor public representatives had participated in the budget exercise. This year's budget is all about babudom, he alleged.
"The BBMP is printing fancy books on the budget. This year the number of such books has increased but there is nothing else in it for the people," he said.
When enquired why the budget was presented in a haste, officials in the BBMP said that they received an intimation from the government all of a sudden on Wednesday morning to go ahead with the budget presentation.
"The government wanted the budget to be presented today as there are chances of the Election Commission's code of conduct coming into force for the Lok Sabha elections anytime soon. Once the Election Commission's code is put in place we couldn't have gone ahead with the presentation," said an official.
Even senior Palike officials and heads of other civic agencies were unaware of the budget presentation on Wednesday.
This is despite the state government having set up the Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure Development (ABIDe), a task force involving all civic agencies and civic experts under the chairmanship of the chief minister, to steer the city development.
"We didn't have any clue about the budget, and as members of the ABIDe, we do have some say in the Palike budget. We feel ignored," said a senior official from Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board.
Another official from the Bangalore Development Authority too expressed his displeasure over the issue.
When contacted for details on announced projects and allocations, the officials said they are yet to receive the budget copies and can comment only after that.
In the absence of an elected body for the Palike, the BBMP administrator, Dilip Rau, decides the date of budget presentation.
When DNA called up the administrator's office on Tuesday evening, an official had said they have not received any information about the budget presentation and they had not decided on the date and time.

City gets licence to park, anywhere and any time

City gets licence to park, anywhere and any time

Srikanth Hunasavadi. Bangalore

The High Court on Wednesday upheld the pay-and-park withdrawal order of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BBMP), clearing the way for motorists to park vehicles without paying any charge.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice PD Dinakaran and Justice Deepak Varma dismissed the writ appeal and petition filed by parking contractor G Subramani questioning BBMP's pay and park licence withdrawal order.
On December 15, 2008, Subramani made a request to the BBMP for acquiring a licence to collect parking fee in certain areas, as he had already made a payment of Rs3 lakh as deposit for the licence. On the basis of his request, BBMP assistant revenue officer (ARO) Jagadish provided him the licence without informing the additional commissioner. Later, BBMP withdrew the pay-and-park system due to public pressure, which irked Subramani. He approached the court stating that as he had paid deposit, he should be allowed to continue collecting the parking fees. The court however dismissed his plea. On behalf of BBMP, senior counsel Ashok Haranahalli stated that the Bangalore Palike had not taken any decision to impose parking fee.
"To impose parking fee, the administrative council has to take a decision. But there is no elected council. On January 21, 2005, the council had taken a decision to ban parking fee in the city. Till date the decision has not been revoked," Haranahalli said.

No space for rally: Bidari

No space for rally: Bidari

Soumya Menon. Bangalore.

The city police, it seems, is in no mood to entertain the state government's idea of holding a massive rally at Palace Grounds on Saturday at the culmination of the students' anti-terror campaign.
Aravind Limbavalli, state minister for higher education, had indicated that he expected around six lakh students to gather. But Police Commissioner Shankar M Bidari has different plans. "I have informed the education department that the police will not accept an application for such a large gathering. They can apply for the license as per the ruling of the High Court.''
In November last year after a rally of the JD(S) had led to choked roads across the city, the High Court had directed the police department not to grant permission for public functions that gather crowds of over 15,000.
Bidari clarified that arrangements for security would be made once the licence is granted. BJP leader LK Advani is expected to address the student gathering.

Plea to vacate stay on pay and park rejected

Plea to vacate stay on pay and park rejected
DH News Service, Bangalore:
The petitioner, Subramanya of Ishwarya Associates, had appealed the court to vacate the stay on pay and parking on several streets of Bangalore. The single judge in the order dated January 23, 2009 had stayed the pay and park.

The High Court has dismissed an appeal to vacate the stay on parking fee collection and a writ petition challenging cancellation of the initial order by the BBMP.

The petitioner, Subramanya of Ishwarya Associates, had appealed the court to vacate the stay on pay and parking on several streets of Bangalore. The single judge in the order dated January 23, 2009 had stayed the pay and park.

Counsel for BBMP Ashok Harnahalli submitted that the Council on January 29, 2005 had resolved not to collect the parking fees. The BBMP’s present administrator has not now taken any decision on levying parking fees.

Ishwarya Associates was authorised to collect the parking fee from January 2 and the contract was withdrawn on the same night, following criticism. However, the petitioner has fixed the fee on his own, which is more than the sum of Rs 3.5 lakh he deposited.

The counsel argued the person who had signed the order had also no jurisdiction to do so. As per the pay and park system on 11 roads in the City, Rs 2 per hour for a two-wheeler and Rs 10 per hour for four-wheeler were collected.

Welfare schemes high on BBMP agenda

Welfare schemes high on BBMP agenda
DH News Service, Bangalore:
The budget with an outlay of Rs 4,238.41 crore was aimed at the "overall development" of Bangalore, as Palike Commissioner S Subramanya put it...

Better roads and cleaner lakes, more bridges and flyovers, skywalks and underpasses, separate cycle lanes and an ambitious “Green Bangalore Initiative”. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) budget presented on Wednesday was definitely not low on vision.

The budget with an outlay of Rs 4,238.41 crore was aimed at the “overall development” of Bangalore, as Palike Commissioner S Subramanya put it.

With road development getting a big share in the budget, the focus was on 12 important corridors identified by the Agenda for the Development of Bangalore to be made signal-free.

The budget anticipated total receipts of around Rs 3,959 crore, the gap between the outlay and the receipts being around Rs 287.05 crore. The income was to come from tax revenue of Rs 1,113.5 crore; Rs 602.78 crore from non tax revenue; Rs 548.5 crore from the State government grants; Rs 269.58 crore from JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) grants; Rs 782.08 crore from loans and Rs 642.85 crore as other receipts including cess and statutory deductions.

This financial year’s principal focus is on capital works which amount to 51 per cent of the total expenditure in the next financial year. Thus BBMP intends to spend Rs 2,177.9 crore. Around Rs 320 crore of the total capital work expenditure will be through JNNURM grants.The BBMP this year plans to spend Rs 1,525 crore for the development of road-related infrastructure.

The Palike intends to spend Rs 6 crore on every ward for which it has made a budgetary allocation of Rs 882 crore. Welfare schemes being high on the BBMP agenda, the Palike intends to spend Rs 533 crore on this sector. This would amount to 14 per cent of the total expenditure next year.

Major initiatives of BBMP for 2009-2010

Major initiatives of BBMP for 2009-2010

Express News Service First Published : 26 Feb 2009 04:13:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 26 Feb 2009 09:30:31 AM IST
BANGALORE: An amount of Rs 1,525 crore has been allocated for development of roads
BBMP has identified 12 important corridors, which will bring commuters from outskirts into core Bangalore.
Major road related works:
For improvement: Magadi -Sunkadakatte main road, Sarjapur Road, Madiwala Road, Raja Rajeshwarinagar main road.
Widening, strengthening and asphalting: Link road from Hennur ring road junction to Kannur, link road from Tindlu along GKVK boundary line, link road from NH-7 by the side of Jakkur Flying Club to Kyalasanahalli
Tumkur Road flyover from Sirsi Circle to Kengeri
220 underpasses and 16 skywalks are being built
Grade separators: 40 new underpasses, seven underconstruction flyovers and underpasses to be complete.
Improvement to junctions at JC Road, steel flyover at Lalbagh Main Gate.
33 road over-bridge and road under-bridge: ROBs at Kadugondanahalli, Kodigehalli, RUBs at Byappanahalli, Papanna Block, Allalasandra, Sriramapura, Nagawara, Shamanna Garden , Narasimhaiah Compound
Improvement of markets: Kalasipalyam, Johnson market, Cox Town Market.

BBMP budget promises a better Bangalore

BBMP budget promises a better Bangalore

Express News Service First Published : 26 Feb 2009 03:29:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 26 Feb 2009 08:25:26 AM IST
BANGALORE: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahangara Palike’s (BBMP) budget for the 2009-10, which was presented Wednesday, promised to make Bangalore a better place, with stress on better infrastructure.
The budget, presented by Commissioner Dr S Subramanya to administrator Dilip Rau, has set aside 44 per cent of the total outlay for enhancing infrastructure.
This is in addition to the maintenance and projects funded by the Union government under JNNURM.
The civic body, with a total budgetary outlay of Rs 4,238.41 crore, has proposed several welfare schemes, ward works, storm water drains and basic services for urban poor. It also proposed to construct skywalks, storm water drains, pedestrian sub-ways, rail overbridges and underbridges and develop roads.
Cleaner and greener environment is the focus of BBMP this year.
The budget has allocated Rs 1,525 crore for road development work.
For the first time, Rs 533 crore has been earmarked for the welfare sector.
Out of this, Rs 483 crore has been set aside for the welfare of SC/ST communities while Rs 50 crore is reserved for the backward communities.
A total of Rs 882.00 crore has been allocated for improving the condition of wards in the city. Under this, every ward will be entitled to Rs 6 crore for carrying out maintenance works.
While solid waste management has been allocated Rs 2,449.58 crore, Rs 200 crore has been earmarked for the development of storm water drains, Rs 82 crore for education and sports and Rs 292.11 crore for the health sector.
The department of horticulture has been allocated Rs 148.49 crore, Rs 90.19 crore more than last year’s allocation.
As against the budgetary estimates of Rs 2,842.48 crore and Rs 2,918.71 crore, the revised estimates for receipts and expenditure for the year 2008-09 work out to Rs 2,748.68 crore and Rs 2,806.57 crore respectively.
Overall, there has been a shortfall of Rs 242 crore with regard to the tax revenues for the year 2008-09. Non-tax revenues have also decreased marginally by Rs 233 crore as against the target of Rs 542.04 crore during the previous year mainly because of recession.
The total anticipated revenue expenditure is Rs 1,808.14 crore and capital expenditure is Rs 2,438.22 crore. BBMP proposes a total outlay of Rs 4,246.35 crore during 2009-10 and capital investments account for Rs 2,438.21 of this outlay. Salaries and administrative expenses amount to Rs 499.68 crore.

CM inaugurates Magadi Road underpass

CM inaugurates Magadi Road underpass

Express News Service First Published : 26 Feb 2009 03:54:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 26 Feb 2009 08:24:08 AM IST
BANGALORE: The much delayed four-lane underpass at Magadi Road and West of Chord Road junction saw the light of day when Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and Adichunchanagiri pontiff Balagangadharnatha Swamiji jointly inaugurated it on Wednesday.
The underpass is 530.3 meters long and was constructed at a cost of Rs 34.68 crore. It took nearly three years to complete the underpass, whose upper part is yet to be completed.
The underpass is named after Swamiji. Speaking on the occasion, Yeddyurappa said that,"BDA is undertaking developmental works on war footing. I have directe BDA authorities to take up road widening projects and complete them before the arrival of rainy season. I have also directed Metro officials to hasten up the Metro work." He said that the temples in the state are being given special attention after Krishnaiah Shetty has been assigned the Muzrai ministry.
Yeddyurappa informed that he is going to Tirupati on February 26 and the next day is his birthday.
On the occasion, he said, the Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP, L K Advani, will also be present to lay the foundation stone for the construction of a community centre.

Most of the projects are new

Most of the projects are new

BBMP commissioner says the focus is on making life easier for the road users


Till the last minute, there was suspense. No official at the BBMP office knew when the civic body’s budget for 2009-10 would be presented. To the poser ‘When?’, they answered in unison: “Only BBMP commissioner Dr S Subramanya knows.” They finally heaved a sigh of relief on Wednesday morning when Subramanya decided to announce the city’s forecast. Excerpts of the question and answer session with Subramanya:
Why was there so much uncertainty about the timing of the budget presentation? What had you planned?
Subramanya: There was nothing running in my mind. We did not want to announce plans till the documents were ready and available in the printed form. After ascertaining that everything was in place, the budget document was released.
What is the focus of the budget?
Subramanya: We have tried to address trafficrelated issues that nag Bangaloreans. Vehicular population has increased exponentially in recent times, the city is home to about 34 lakh vehicles. In this backdrop, we have focussed on infrastructure management .
But there is nothing new in the budget, majority of announcements are spillovers from previous years..
Subramanya: Most of the Road over Bridges (RoBs) and Road under Bridges (RuBs) are new projects.
How are you going to mobilise resources? The state government recently announced Rs 2,000 crore for development of Bangalore’s road infrastructure. Is it part of your expected revenues..?
Subramanya: We are anticipating an increase in property tax and advertisement tax this year, along with funds under the JNNURM project. The state government’s recent announcement is not included in the BBMP budget. We have to discuss with the government and plan accordingly over the use of money.
Where do you plan to set up sky-walks? Do you think that the sky-walks will serve the purpose as many senior citizens find them difficult to use?
Subramanya: The 16 proposed sky-walks will be in front of malls like Forum and Total on Hosur Road, Garuda and Lifestyle near Victoria road and Shopper’s Stop. Further, sky-walks will also come up near Hotel Chalukya, Pallavi Theatre, Shanthi Sagar, HAL Airport, BBMP Office at Mayo Hall, Nandini Hotel and HMT on Bellary Road and Christ College and St Johns Hospital on Hosur Road.
Where will the seven sewerage treatment plants (STP) be set up?
Subramanya: In the Vrishabhavati valley. Around 40 pipes are draining waste in this valley. But the waste will be treated at the STP before letting it into the valley. Besides, BBMP also intends to develop a portion of the valley into a model river front on the lines of Sabarmati River Valley Development project in Ahmedabad.
What is the status of the elevated corridor from Rajajinagar entrance to Yeshwanthpur Junction?
Subramanya: It was found that the project was not feasible and hence the existing road has been made signal-free.
What percentage of work has been taken up by BBMP in the Outer Ring Road (ORR) project?
Subramanya: The stretch from Silk Board Junction to Mysore Road has already been handed over to us and we are undertaking the works in this stretch.
What about stray dog management in the city?
Subramanya: We will be implementing the Domestic Dog Licensing Programme. In Bangalore, there are 1.4 lakh pet dogs and 1.6 lakh stray dogs. For those who keep unsterilised dogs, the charges will be high.

Today you lay roads, tomorrow you dig them up

Today you lay roads, tomorrow you dig them up

Bangaloreans reacted with scepticism to the many initiatives in the BBMP’s budget

Jyoti Shetty, Jayamahal Residents Welfare Association
Today they lay roads and tomorrow they dig it up. What is the point in wasting money like this? There is absolutely no coordination between civic organisations. The pot-holes become bigger and bigger and BBMP acts blind towards it. I want to ask, do they even know the techniques to lay down roads? Why do they always go for tar roads? Why should not they go for cemented roads? We want answers for these questions from BBMP before they start spending public money for this year’s budget.
D N Giriappa, Secretary, Rural Development and Environment Society
I am just hoping that whatever they say, they should implement it also. Only a few things have materialised and they talk about a lot more.
A Umar, ex-president, Tatanagar Residents Welfare Association
Whatever they have done till today, it’s not up to the level of satisfaction. Not even a single road across the city that could last forever. No quality is there in the work. Only if you pester engineers and contractors, they will speed up push forward the work. Instead, they should utilise money properly and give satisfactory work. Dr Umeshwara, president, Koramangala Residents Forum
They say the same thing every year. We have stopped believing them now. They do not have a planned way of working out anything. Only the roads in front of the politicians’ houses are maintained well.
Club Road in Koramangala has been dug up as many as five times in a year. The residents are being fooled as we cannot go and argue with the officials. There is no way of improvement in this condition.
N S Mukund, executive member of Jayanagar fifth block residents Welfare association and citizens’ action forum
There is no point to these budgets. The condition of roads are pathetic and they are never maintained. The BBMP should not discriminate between roads. Instead it should repair all the roads and maintain them. There are many bottlenecks like digging for wires and other such purposes. BBMP should ensure that these roads are laid once the digging work is finished.
K V Bhaskar Murthy, president, Federation of Jayanagar Residents’ Association
Works were allotted some time back and they are already on now. Roads are coming up well and this is needed now when Bangalore’s traffic is exploding. But maintenance should be monitored continually.
G Vishwanath, Secretary, Residents Forum, LIC Colony
The proposal for pedestrian underpasses and sky walks are extremely useful. But 50 per cent of this would go as a waste because majority of the people do not use it thinking it’s time consuming. The police should be more strict with jay walkers and penalty should be collected strictly from such offenders.
C R Venkatesh, member, Silver Oak Residents Association
Fortunately, at least the BBMP has given importance to the pedestrians. Always there were only provisions for those using vehicles. But most of these sky walks that are existing are not used by many. With these escalator sky walks coming up, it will be of great use, especially for the elders.

K N Jagadish Kumar, president, Virupakshapura Residents Welfare Association
Roads are being laid now and then. But there is no quality in any of these roads. Today you put the tar and a few days later, the road will again come to the same state of wretchedness. Hence, instead wasting public money in this way, they should work on small projects and ensure quality.

Subramanya’s mantra: Better roads

Subramanya’s mantra: Better roads

Road-related infrastructure gets top priority in the civic budget — and no Bangalorean would demur on that


When S Subramanya presented the civic body’s budget for 2009-10, his focus was on decongesting the city. For the last few years, the city’s crumbling infrastructure has been a sore point with the ‘aam aadmi’ and officials alike, and the budgetary spotlight on better connectivity has come not a day too soon.
Taking a cue from chief minister B S Yeddyurappa’s frequent iterations about improving Bangalore’s infrastructure, BBMP’s budget has set aside the lion’s share of its proposed expenditure for road-related infrastructure projects — a whopping Rs 1525 crore.
Whereas ABIDE had asked BBMP to make 12 busy roads signal-free, the latter has focused on four: Hosur-Laskar road, Old Airport Road, Dr Rajkumar Road and Mehkri Circle to Benniganahalli. Subramanya said, “Flyovers or subways will be constructed at all the bottlenecks on these roads. Motorists can zoomfrom one point to another without any traffic jam.” Traffic expert M N Sreehari said, “Constructing subways is always a better option then constructing an elevated highway.”
The budget has also announced that part of the Outer Ring Road will be made signal-free. The stretch from Central Silk Board junction to Mysore Road comes under BBMP. The budget proposes to construct a grade separator at Chennamma Circle using traditional technology. It also proposes underpasses at 11 other junctions on this stretch, using segmented technology, at a cost of Rs 83 crore.
To address the problem of traffic congestion in front of the Lalbagh main gate, the budget proposes a forked steel flyover, on which work will start this financial year.
It has been a long-pending demand to construct bridges across railway lines. Residents residing in areas criss-crossed by Chennai, Mysore and Tumkur railway lines have long complained of a lack of connectivity. BBMP has proposed to construct 33 railway over/under bridges in these areas. ROADS: WHAT IS IN STORE
Magadi-Sunkadakatte Main Road Sarjapur Road Madiwala Road Roads in City Market area Rajarajeshwarinagar Main Road
Link Road between Tindlu and GKVK Hennur Ring Road to Kannur Jakkur Flying Club to Kyalasanahalli Traffic intersections at J C Road ELEVATED HIGHWAY Sirsi Circle to Kengeri
KR Circle, Hudson circle, Okalipuram, Shivananda circle, KR Puram, Vaddarapalya, Herohalli, Kengeri, Medarahalli, ISRO campus, Nelagadaranahalli, Abbai Naidu studio, TK Layout, Roopena Agrahara, Singapura, Garvebahavipalya, Banashankari III Stage, Bugle rock area, Srinivasanagara and Nagarabavi
Airforce station-Jalahalli; Coffee Day junction-Yelahanka; Koramangala-Sarjapur road; Jakkur road circle; Kempegowda circlce, Yelahanka; Reva College junction;Thanisandra road NEW GRADE SEPARATORS
Kadugondanahalli Sriramapura Nagavara Kodigehalli
Byappanahalli Papanna Park Allalasandra Shamanna Garden Narasimhaiah Compound
Connecting Tumkur Road and Kempe Gowda bus stand, it is one of the busiest roads.An elevated corridor of 3.2 km was proposed at a cost of Rs 15 crore. However, the project has been shelved. BBMP commissioner Subramanya said,“Since the work is not feasible, we are now focussing on a special plan to make it a signal-free corridor.”
Of the four proposed expressway storm water drain projects, two have been shelved as being non-feasible. Subramanya said,“The 5.1 km stretch from K H Road (Double Road) to Inner Ring Road (Koramangala) and the 4.2 km stretch from Airport Road to Bellandur tank in Challaghatta valley have been dropped. For the other two projects, a proposal has been received under the Swiss challenge method for the stretch from Old Madras Road to Airport Road in Challaghatta valley (2.7 km), while an alignment map has been prepared for the stretch from Outer Ring Road to Raja Canal in the Hebbal valley (2.7 km).
Though the future looks bleak as buoyancy in taxes has come down on account of the economic downturn, the BBMP commissioner maintained that it was a ‘temporary phenomenon’ and that Bangalore would “bounce back”. He painted an optimistic picture of the civic body’s resource mobilisation strategies:
“We plan to collect Rs 1,100 crore as property tax in 2009-10 and we are hopeful of achieving it,” Subramanya said. BBMP has already commenced collection of property tax under the Unit Area Value method of computation and has established 273 help centres to facilitate tax collection. Lakhs of properties will come under the tax net now. To ensure compliance, BBMP has taken up GIS-based mapping of properties and this process is likely to be completed by March.
The civic body plans to collect Rs 64 crore as advertisement tax this year. It will open up the new infrastructure projects; ad space will be available in more bus shelters and flyovers.
Non-tax revenues will go up to Rs 309.74 crore this year as BBMP plans to streamline the self-assessment and collection methodology for trade licences, license fees, revision in rates of rent and lease of corporation properties.
“JNNURM projects are at a crucial stage and we anticipate more than Rs 360 crore” Subramanya said.
Meanwhile, the state government had provided a special grant of Rs 300 crore in 2008-09 and has provided Rs 500 crore in 2009-10. The total estimated receipts for 2009-10 are Rs 3,959.29 crore.
BBMP expected a revenue inflow of Rs 2,842.48 crore in its last budget, but for various reasons the civic body failed to get its cash registers ringing. While several fund-raising programmes remained nonstarters as the government failed to give its green signal, others were caught in a political logjam. Bangalore Mirror takes a look at the no-shows:

• Property tax collection came a cropper as the debate between the self-assessment scheme (SAS) and the capital value system (CVS) continued till recently. “We planned to collect Rs 605 crore as property tax, but fell short of the budget target by Rs 205 crore,” said BBMP Commissioner S Subramanya.

• There was a shortfall of Rs 49 crore because of non-collection of improvement charges. BBMP could not collect improvement charges as the Karnataka High Court ruled that such charges cannot be levied without issuing a proper notification.

• In the backdrop of the economic downturn, revenue in the form of advertisement tax (inclusive of licence fee) has plummeted drastically. While BBMP expected Rs 91 crore from advertisement tax, the actual money that flowed in was just Rs 44.50 crore.

• With the Sakrama scheme, which is geared at regularising building violations, being put on the backburner, BBMP has lost close to Rs 100 crore.

• This apart, there has been a shortfall of Rs 242 crore in tax revenues.

• Non-tax revenues also decreased by Rs 233 crore as against the budget target of Rs 542 crore, thanks to the recession. BBMP GIVES ITSELF BROWNIE POINTS
What has BBMP done in the last one year? This is the question every denizen must be asking, given the fact that the civic machinery either moves at a snail’s pace or does not move at all. Wary of getting even more brickbats, BBMP chose to list out the good things it has done for the city:

• A total of 454.91 km of roads have been asphalted. (Don’t ask which roads.)

• 74.28 km of concrete roads were added. (Probably in the narrow bylanes of old Bangalore.)

• 146 high-mast lights were installed. (Oops, you missed them because of the frequent power cuts.)

• 36,233 sodium vapour lamps were added. (Yeah, they are on during the day and off at night. Example: the stretch from HAL airport to Marathalli.)

• The International Airport Road has been illuminated on par with international standards with nine highmast lights at a cost of Rs 8.50 crore. (The million dollar question: how come this road is still a killer as road accidents are increasing, especially at night?)

• Five km of roads in the core areas have been widened. (This is truly one good thing that has happened. Thanks to BBMP commissioner S Subramanya’s initiative, motorists don’t have to jostle for space.)

• Upgradation of 570 parks across the city. Two lakh saplings planted at various locations.(Hope these plants are watered regularly and the city gets the ‘Garden City’ tag back.)

• Transplantation of 300 trees. (Who is going to monitor them and how are they faring?)

• Completion of seven pedestrian subways in a record time using precast element technology. (Hope they don’t lock these subways ater 6 pm like it happens in Shivajinagar.)

• 12,000 ‘Madilu’ kits have been distributed to women through BBMPrun maternity hospitals. (Taking babycare to new heights!)

• Six new underpasses constructed with segmented box elements at BDA Junction, CBI Junction,Anandnagar, IVRI campus, Cunningham Road and Hebbal. (Residents’ envy, motorists’ pride!)

• Signal-free connectivity from the city to Bangalore International Airport. (We recently heard the traffic police telling us that more traffic signals are needed on the road!)

• Malleswaram Circle grade separator under JNNURM has been completed. (But problems pertaining to taking turns still persist.)