Ahead of polls, CM declares Rs 1,000-cr package for Palike

Ahead of polls, CM declares  Rs 1,000-cr package for Palike

Eyeing Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike polls, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday announced Rs 1,000 crore package for taking up works on arterial roads in the Palike limits, apart from three new major road projects.

While Rs 500 crore is already part of the BBMP budget, an additional Rs 500 crore has been announced over and above the allocated amount. Global tenders have been called for executing three elevated toll road projects -- Silk Board to Hebbal (16 km) ; KR Puram to Gorguntepalya (21 km) and Jnanabharathi to Whitefield (27 km).

Briefing reporters after chairing a progress review meeting of the BBMP, Siddaramaiah said that the Palike was reeling under severe financial crisis, owing to “unscientific” and “unrealistic” budgets presented by the BJP from the year 2010-14. As a result, the total financial requirement of the BBMP was Rs 9,000 crore, he said, adding that the government was forced to extend its support.

The chief minister said that bills totalling to Rs 2,356 crore were pending before the BBMP.

The civic agency has borrowed Rs 3,100 crore in the form of loans. Projects worth Rs 1,677 crore are in progress whereas works worth Rs 1,800 crore are yet to start. Of the 17 lakh properties in the city, property tax was being collected only from 13 lakh properties, he added.

He also said that BBMP had incurred heavy losses due to illegal hoardings, which have been removed. While the Palike had the potential to earn Rs 1,000 crore annually from hoardings, it was generating a revenue of only Rs 25 to Rs 30 crore because of illegal hoardings, he added.

“We are now checking the financial indiscipline. Tax collection has improved by Rs 275 crore ever since the administrator took over,” he claimed.

The meeting was attended by ministers Ramalinga Reddy, Roshan Baig, Dinesh Gundu Rao, K J George, Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee, BBMP Administrator Vijay Bhaskar, BBMP Commissioner Kumar Naik, among others.

Siddamaraiah said that he had instructed officials to ensure filling of potholes, cleaning of stormwater drains and debris, and installation of streetlights on all the roads, by the end of this month.

He said that he had asked the administrator and the commissioner to immediately suspend those officials found shirking responsibilities. He also announced setting up of six composting units of 3,000 metric tonne capacity on the outskirts of the City.
DH News Service

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