Infrastructure tops city's wishlist from budget

Infrastructure tops city's wishlist from budget

As Siddaramaiah gears up to present his budget, expectations of Bengalureans are soaring high with a list of demands.

With the Assembly elections just a year away, city’s infrastructure is likely to get a big boost as Bengaluru constitutes 28 Assembly constituencies. In his previous budget, the chief minister had announced a special package of Rs 5,000 crore for the city. The demands - from better infrastructure to proper water and sewerage system, improvement of government and municipal schools, upgrading health sector, reducing bus fares and increasing the fleet of buses - are only growing. V Ravichandar, urban expert and member of the Bengaluru Restructuring Committee, backed the demand of Bus Prayanikara Vedike, a forum which has been pressing for halving the bus fares and increasing the fleet.

“The government must promote public transport and slash the fares to decongest Bengaluru. There must be a sincere effort to expedite commuter rail projects and for speedy execution of Metro rail,” said Ravichandar.

Besides emphasising on pedestrian-friendly and pothole-free road network, Ravichandar said the government should allocate funds for rejuvenating Bellandur lake based on the expert committee report and replicating the model for other lakes. He underlined the need to instal more CCTV cameras for public safety and security.

Social activist Kathyayini Chamaraj underscored the need to invest in social infrastructure for the urban poor.

She said, “Malnutrition among children in Bengaluru is high in the absence of proper day care. The urban poor cannot afford to send their children to kindergarten and hence, more number of day care centres are required. The government has to create a land bank. It can utilise the land acquired during the anti-encroachment drive or purchase it from the market. There should also be provisions for scholarship for children from economically weaker sections. Measures must be taken to bring down the dropout rates in schools.”

H N Manohar, a resident of HMT Layout, suggested that the government start Vidya Bhagya scheme. “The government schools, including BBMP schools, need proper attention. They should be improved on a par with private schools.” Lamenting about the pathetic condition of government hospitals, he said that one can hardly find doctors at the primary health centre in Dasarahalli.

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