I am not a receptionist to take calls, minister tells scribes

George says money cannot be released from one's pocket for City development projects

I am not a receptionist to take calls, minister tells scribes

Journalists may not be able to reach the Bengaluru Development Minister K J George over phone whenever they need his quote. Reason: The minister is neither a telephone operator nor a receptionist!

“Am I a receptionist to take your calls?” was the minister's terse reply when reporters, during an interaction, told him that he was hardly available whenever they need to take his quote.

Discussing the pathetic state of road infrastructure, George said that Rs 1,500 crore would be released to complete all the projects which Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had announced during the latter’s City rounds in the recent past.

Not satisfied with the reply, a journalist asked him that he had been hearing this statement for the last many months but nothing concrete had come out so far despite the crumbling infrastructure in the City.

The pesky question did not go down well with the minister. He said, “The money has to be released by the State government. There is a need to wait till the time money is released.

We cannot release money from our pocket. Will you spend money from your pocket to get public work done?”

Garbage contracts

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting on property tax collection in the City, the minister said that the stringent conditions in the contract for disposing of the garbage had kept away a majority of the contractors from taking part in the process of tendering.

The minister said that bids had been received only for 35 out of 95 wards. “We (BBMP) are in the process of re-tendering as the bidding did not happen for the 60 wards,” the minister said.

Replying to a query, George said the protests at Kannahalli, Seegehalli and other garbage processing units were due to the ‘wrong notion’ on the part of local residents that their villages too would turn into another Mandur or Mavallipura.

“The villagers have claimed that the processing units will emanate foul smell. I had carried out surprise inspections and found that the fear of the villagers was unfounded,” George said.

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