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Cabinet nod to develop 8 towns to decongest Bangalore

Bangalore, Jan 31, 2013, DHNS: 2:50 IST

The ambitious project will provide infrastructure facilities at a cost of Rs 2,100 crore

Urban Development Minister Suresh Kumar. File Photo

The State Cabinet on Thursday gave its nod to implement a project aimed at decongesting Bangalore City by developing eight small towns around it at a cost of Rs 2,100 crore - a move seen as an attempt by the ruling BJP to please the electorate in the State capital ahead of the Assembly elections.

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Urban Development Minister Suresh Kumar said the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) had identified eight clusters around Bangalore where the project would be implemented keeping in view future growth.

The eight clusters are: Ramanagar-Channapatna, Kanakapura, Nelamangala, Doddaballapur, Anekal, Devanahalli-Vijayapura, Hoskote and Magadi. Major industrial areas close to these clusters are also included under the project. These towns come under the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) limits.

In good humour

Of the 28 Assembly constituencies in Bangalore Urban district, the BJP had won 16, the Congress 11 and the JD(S) one in the 2008 polls. Hence, keeping the electorate in good humour is important for the ruling party.

The term of the Jagadish Shettar government is scheduled to end in May this year, and the elections will be held before that.

The minister said all necessary infrastructure facilities like underground drainage, drinking water supply, solid waste management system, stormwater drains and mass rapid transit system will be provided under the project, ensuring organised and planned development.

It will also greatly help ease the mounting pressure on Bangalore City. It is estimated that the population in the BMRDA limits is expected to reach 1.8 crore by 2030 from the current 1.1 crore, he explained.

Detailed project report

The KUIDFC has planned to avail a loan of Rs 1,400 crore from the Asian Development Bank and the State government will chip in with the remaining Rs 700 crore to implement the project. A detailed project report will be prepared soon and submitted to the ADB, seeking loans, he said.

The then JD(S)-BJP government headed by H D Kumaraswamy had, in 2006, proposed a plan to develop five integrated satellite townships in Bidadi, Ramanagar, Satnur, Solur and Nandagudi on public private partnership model under ‘work-and-stay’ concept to decongest Bangalore.

But the plan failed to materialise. Though the government had awarded the Bidadi township to private developer DLF, the project was abruptly shelved due to protest from the farmers.

However, the cluster development project approved on Thursday is planned to be implemented by the KUIDFC and there will be no private participation. The Cabinet was of the view that the government should also develop towns like Kolar and Tumkur on priority in future, he said.

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