Thursday, February 26, 2009

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.


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