CM's mammoth convoy chokes roads

CM's mammoth convoy chokes roads

Vehicular traffic came to a near halt in several parts of Bengaluru for most part of Friday, as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah travelled across the City in a huge convoy to inaugurate infrastructure projects and new police station buildings.

Siddaramaiah officially inaugurated the two already functional flyovers – at Kanteerava Studio (built at cost of Rs 46.98 crore) and at Nagawara junction (Rs 29.60 crore). Two already in-use skywalks at Kammanahalli junction (Rs 1.08 crore) and at Babusapalya (Rs 1.082 crore) were also inaugurated.

The four projects were undertaken up by the Bangalore Development Authority along the Outer Ring Road with the aim of providing seamless connectivity to commuters. He also inaugurated three police station buildings at Nagawara, Bagalur and Kothanur.

Traffic came to a halt from 10.20 am to 4pm, primarily because of the convoy movement. Normally, the chief minister’s convoy comprises five vehicles (a pilot vehicle, the chief minister’s car, two escorts and a taxi). If the chief minister takes the media along, an additional vehicle joins in. But on Friday, the convoy had 30 vehicles: around 25 SUVs belonging to the Congress MLAs from KR Puram, Hoskote and Rajarajeshwari Nagar, and party workers.

Traffic was also affected because Congress workers burst crackers all along the ring road and on the main roads in residential areas where the convoy passed. Office-goers and buses ferrying students, too, were put to hardship.

The inauguration spree turned out to be a show of by the Congress, because, at every venue, party workers and people greeted the chief minister with garlands and beating of drums. At Nagawara, Siddaramaiah was greeted by a troupe of people carrying flower-decked idols on their heads.

Bengaluru in-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy, Home Minister K J George and officials from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and Bangalore Development Authority seemed to be least concerned about the Lokayukata orders being violated. The Lokayukta had recently ordered that all political banners and flexes should be removed from the City. But the convoy was greeted with flashy banners and flexes praising Siddaramaiah, the area MLA and party workers, all through the 40-odd-km drive across the City.

Speaking after inaugurating the projects, Siddaramaiah said garbage management, City development and maintaining law and order was his government’s prime goals.

A sum of Rs 250 crore has been earmarked for desilting stormwater drains, he said, adding that six garbage-processing units were being set up across the City. While one has been inaugurated, another at Lingadeeranahalli, JP Nagar 6th phase, will be inaugurated on Saturday. This will treat 200 metric tones of garbage daily. The remaining four will be launched in the next three months.

Minister Ramalinga Reddy said Rs 5,000 crore had been allocated for developing CMC and TMC areas for the next two years with Cauvery and sewerage lines. A sum of Rs 460 crore was sanctioned to asphalt the City roads and Rs 90 crore was allocated to set up waste-processing units, he said.

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