City excluded from Karnataka urban renewal mission

 
Besides, the government has proposed to bring in a slew of reforms in the administration of urban local bodies (ULBs).

They include scrapping of all urban development authorities, re-structuring bodies such as water supply boards, introduction of direct election of mayors and extending mayors’ term to five years, rationalisation of

tariffs for various services, encouraging public-private partnership in infrastructure development and simplification of procedures for acquisition and purchase of land for public purposes.

Significantly, the plans do not apply to Bangalore.

The proposals are part of the draft Urban Development Policy 2009, released by Urban Development Minister S Suresh Kumar, here on Friday.

But the policy prepared by the adviser to the chief minister on urban development, A Ravindra, states that the recommendations of the expert (Kasturirangan) committee report on urban governance can be implemented for Bangalore.

Generating resources

It is estimated that nearly Rs one lakh crore is required for the overall development of urban areas in the State. Around Rs 50,000 crore has to be earmarked for Bangalore alone.

The government plans to generate resources by proper utilisation of land, approaching capital markets and multilateral institutions for loans and streamlining the existing property tax collection system.

Briefing reporters about the policy, Suresh Kumar said the government has plans to merge the existing urban development authorities like MUDA with the ULBs.
“Planning, development and maintenance should be done with proper coordination. The ULBs do not know what authorities are doing, thereby   putting people in hardship. Hence, we want to abolish all urban development authorities,” he pointed out.

The minister said a State urbanisation commission would be set up for preparing a detailed development plan for every ULBs.

An urban services regulatory authority will be set up to study the cost recovery on various services being provided by the ULBs.

The draft policy will be finalised in January 2010. The draft has been uploaded in the urban development department website — www.karnataka.gov.in/urbandevelopment/about.htmc or www.urbanaffairs.in.

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