City cluster project around Bangalore gets Centre's nod
KUIDFC allowed to seek Rs 1,400 crore loan from ADB
The proposed project to develop eight city clusters around Bangalore is seeing some progress.
The Centre’s Department of Economic Affairs has recently accorded in-principle approval to the project, which has been planned with the twin objectives to decongest the State capital and boost the economic development of Bangalore Metropolitan Region (BMR).
The Department of Economic Affairs is also learnt to have given its nod to the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC), the nodal agency for implementing the project, to put up a proposal seeking Rs 1,400 crore loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The government has proposed eight city clusters covering 8,005 sq km of BMR at a cost of Rs 2,100 crore under phase one. The clusters are planned around small towns around Bangalore such as Ramanagar, Nelamangala, Doddaballapur, Devanahalli, Hoskote, Bommasandra and Harohalli. Under the project, the KUIDFC will upgrade infrastructure facilities, especially transport and communication network, to spur economic growth using its own funds.
The then JD(S)-BJP coalition government in 2006 had proposed development of five integrated townships at Bidadi, Ramanagar, Sathanur, Solur and Nandagudi located in the jurisdiction of Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) at a cost of Rs 30,000 crore under public-private partnership model.
Though the Bidadi township was tendered and awarded to Delhi-based firm, DLF, the subsequent BJP government did not pursue the project. All the township projects were given a silent burial.
The City cluster project was planned during the previous BJP regime. The State Cabinet cleared the project in February this year. Though the Congress government has been re-considering the major decisions of the previous government, it has decided to go ahead with the cluster project.
Completion in five years
As per the detailed action plan prepared by KUIDFC, the cluster project will be implemented in five years, by 2017-18. It has proposed a commuter rail system in the BMR region. Besides, a separate ring road project will be implemented to each of the city clusters through innovative financing mechanism.
Currently, the towns included in the city cluster project come under different local planning authorities such as Nelamangala Planning Authority and Hoskote Planning
Authority. Therefore, the KUIDFC has proposed an integrated planning for the entire BMR, covering all the eight city clusters.
Official sources said the State government will be making initial investment in the project for infrastructure development.
The plan is to later woo private investments for development. The KUIDFC is planning to utilise high land value around Bangalore as resource to take up development.