Government draws up ambitious plan to give Bengaluru a makeover

Going by what the State government intends to spend on public works, Bengaluru would wear a bridal look in the next two or three months.

In the run-up to the forthcoming elections to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the government is said to be rushing for an image-building exercise and wants to give the City a makeover. It intends to spend close to Rs 3,500 crore in this regard.

Addressing reporters here on Tuesday, Bengaluru In-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy said the government intended to give Rs 2,500 crore to the Palike—Rs 1,500 crore as announced by the chief minister and Rs 1,000 crore more under the Nagarothana Yojane. The BBMP will add another Rs 1,000 crore on these infrastructure projects. “We have set a target of six months to improve roads and other civic infrastructure. We want a garbage-free Bengaluru with good roads,” Reddy remarked.

According to him, the PWD has been tasked with carrying out Rs 1,000 crore worth of development works in Bengaluru using the government’s grant. The Palike will also desilt storm water and shoulder drains during the forthcoming monsoon.

 Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL), a subsidiary of the State government, which had carried out a majority of works in Bengaluru until now, has lost the government’s trust. The government has decided not to assign any work to the KRIDL. The KRIDL, which acquired notoriety for carrying out “urgent” works in a shoddy manner, charges 11 per cent more than the rate fixed by government agencies, including the BBMP, for bypassing the transparency rule.

Reddy said: “We will not give any works to the KRIDL. We will call for tenders for public works and ensure that all procedures are duly followed. To begin with, potholes will be filled on a war footing. If there is any pothole on a major road, BBMP engineers will face stern action.”

Rs two lakh will be allocated for filling potholes and desilting drains in each ward. With monsoon round the corner, Reddy said, officials have been instructed to visit low-lying areas and come up with precautionary measures to deal with flooding. Speaking about the pending bills, the minister said the Palike owed Rs 2,300 crore to civil contractors. BBMP Commissioner G Kumar Naik said that each work would be scrutinised before payment was made and an online monitoring system had been put in place in that  Ramalinga Reddy, Bengaluru urban District in-charge minister: We will not give any works to the KRIDL. We will call for tenders for public works and ensure that all procedures are duly followed. To begin with, potholes will be filled on a war footing. 

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