Infrastructure 2009 News

Sorry Bangalore, but you got a bad road ahead

Namma Bengaluru came in for some scathing criticism from Union road transport and highways minister Kamal Nath, who said the IT capital had nothing in terms of road infrastructure.

“The biggest deficiency in infrastructure will be in the road sector and it is right here to see in Bangalore,” Nath said addressing the Construction Equipment and Construction Technology trade fair on Wednesday.

BBMP’s budget chants infrastructure mantra

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 the pending works to make a visible difference. The pedestrians and urban poor, the hitherto ignored community, have now found a prominent space.

The BBMP’s budget estimates for the year 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 ’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 the 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 8 entrances to city being beautified. Building by-laws will be modified to accommodate rain water 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 the completion this year.