6,000 km roads in ULB limits to be developed

Work to improve 6,000 kms of roads coming under various urban local bodies (ULBs) in 23 districts across the State will commence on February 15, Municipal Administration Minister Balachandra Jarkiholi said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters in Bangalore, Jarkiholi said district headquarters will get Rs 30 crore, corporations Rs 15 crore,  City Municipal Councils (CMCs), Town Municipal Councils (TMCs) and Town Panchayats (TPs) Rs five crore each for roads/drain development in their respective jurisdiction.

The Rs 1,800-crore project is being taken up under the Chief Minister’s Small and Medium Towns Development Programme.

Tenders for the road improvement programme in ULBs in 23 districts had been invited and work orders would be issued on February 10. The tendering process had been delayed in a few districts including Bellary, Koppal, Gulbarga and Yadgir. All the 209 ULBs in the State (except Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike) will be covered under the programme.

“We will issue directions to the contractors to commence work by February and complete a major part of the improvement programme by April end,” Jarkiholi said.

The minister said action plans for the road improvement programme in each of the ULBs had been finalised at district-level committees headed by district incharge minister. Local MLAs and presiding officers of the ULBs are members of the committees. While Rs 200 crore is available with the municipal administration department, loans would be raised on a need basis from the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC), Jarkiholi said.

Jarkiholi said the State government has contended before the Supreme Court that the elections to ULBs will be held after finalising the ward-wise reservations based on the census 2011 data. It was not fair to hold the election based on 10-year-old data (2001 census) as it would render injustice of OBCs and SC/STs, he said.

The term of  ULBs were ending between February and April, the minister said.

“The government had no option but to appoint administrators to the local bodies once their tenure ends,” Jarkiholi said.

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