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Think of the city’s interest, please

Think of the city’s interest, please

If the alleged denial of funds for works in some areas is true, it is unwelcome

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Last Updated : 12 June 2024, 02:08 IST
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With the Karnataka government struggling to balance books due to a large chunk of the budgetary allocation going towards funding the guarantees promised by the Congress during the Assembly elections, pending works on several infrastructure projects in the city, especially flyovers and underpasses, have hit a roadblock. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, it may be recalled, had presented a budget with a revenue deficit of over Rs 27,000 crore. Notably, most of these projects, with the exception of Ejipura and Hebbal flyovers, are in constituencies represented by BJP legislators. Some of these critical works include the flyover at Kerekodi Junction on Outer Ring Road, the flyover at RR Nagar arch connecting to Mysuru Road, the elevated corridor along Doddaballapur Main Road in Yelahanka, two underpasses in the RR Nagar Assembly constituency -- one at the intersection of Kengeri Road and Ullal Main Road; another along Annapoorneshwari Nagar Main Road. Some funds had been allocated for the projects by the previous Bommai government but work had not started. Besides the lack of funds, delays in land acquisition have also stymied some projects. 

However, the question arises whether the real reason behind these projects being put on the backburner is lack of funds or the politics of denying development funds to constituencies represented by Opposition MLAs. The Congress and JD(S) had alleged earlier that the BJP government had denied funds to constituencies represented by their MLAs. Are the stalled projects now sweet revenge for that? BJP MLAs have indeed alleged so and if that’s true, it will amount to the Congress government cutting off its own nose to spite the face. The development of the city should be taken up in a holistic manner and any piecemeal approach to tackle Bengaluru’s traffic and infrastructure woes, especially with narrow party politics ruling decision-making, would be disastrous. As it is, the areas where these projects are planned have a heavy traffic density and any further delay will only worsen the situation. A case in point is the Ejipura flyover which commenced in 2017 and remains incomplete even to this day. 

While ongoing projects continue to hang fire, adding to the traffic chaos, the government has announced that it would take up construction of tunnel roads at a huge cost. The government would do well to complete all pending projects first, without discriminating against constituencies represented by Opposition MLAs, so that there is seamless movement of traffic across the city. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar should rise above party lines and put the interest of Bengaluru first. 

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