Cabinet clears Rs 8,000 crores for Bengaluru facelift

Cabinet clears Rs 8,000 crores for Bengaluru facelift

The Cabinet on Wednesday approved an investment of Rs 8,015 crore toward improving the infrastructure of Bengaluru over a three-year period.

This largess will go for development of roads, white topping, stormwater drain improvement and construction of grade separators, among others. It will be packaged under the banner of the ‘Mukhyamantri Nava Bengaluru’ project, which will be implemented by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.

“The development of Bengaluru is a top priority for the government,”” Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Krishna Byre Gowda told reporters during the Cabinet briefing.

“The Rs 8,015 crore will exclude the BBMP’s own grants and will not include the metro, Peripheral Ring Road, BDA, BWSSB and elevated corridor projects,” he said.

A tentative action plan to spend these funds has been prepared and it will be finalised by Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, who is also the Bengaluru City Development Minister.

Interestingly, both Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and his deputy have given themselves Rs 300 crore
and Rs 200 crore, respectively, as “discretionary reserve” grant.

With this, the BBMP will not be allowed to prepare any new action plan for the next three years, besides the one that will be finalised for spending Rs 8,015 crore, the finance department has said while giving its concurrence.

The action plan for 2018-19, in which the BBMP has proposed spending Rs 2,500 crore on various works, will be implemented, starting with the selection of consultants by the end of February 2019, approving detailed project
reports by the end of April 2019 and commencement of works by the end of December 2019.

“Since past experience has shown that it takes a long time to take up preparatory works of making DPRs, calling for tenders, sometimes repeatedly, and so on, it is proposed to take up the preparatory works for three years’ action plan right away, so that the works can be taken up in the subsequent years,” is how the Urban Development Department has justified the three-year spend.