Bangalore to get exclusive funds for development

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Bangalore, Jun 28: This Silicon city of the country will be earmarked exclusive funds in the 2008-09 budget for infrastructure development, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said .

Initiating a discussion on 'Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure Development' here, he said ''as promised in the BJP's election manifesto, Bangalore, which has earned name as the IT hub of India, will get a separate fund for infrastructure not only to attract more investments to the city, but also to overcome the congestion, including traffic, now faced.''

He said it was estimated that about Rs 50,000 crore was needed for overall infrastructure development in the State, including Rs 37,000 crore for Bangalore alone. '' I seek the wholehearted cooperation of all stakeholders in achieving our aim.'' Mr Yeddyurappa said that during his last meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, he had sought the release of additional funds to the State for taking up infrastructure projects. ''I have even appealed to Mr Chidambaram for release of Rs 5,000 crore as temporary help and I will soon lead a high-level Committee to bring pressure on the Centre in this regard,'' he added.

He admitted that there was an urgent need to restructure the whole infrastructure in Bangalore to turn it into a world class city.

Mr Yeddyurappa clarified that infrastructure development would not only be confined to Bangalore. Similar discussions to draw plans would be held at the state as well as regional level. At the regional level, discussion would be aimed at development of infrastructure for agriculture improvement.

He said the recommendations of this meeting would be utilised for drawing up a 'Vision' for the city and would be included in the budget.

The Dr Kasturirangan Committee Report on Infrastructure Development was presented by former Chief Secretary A Ravindra.

Mr Ravindra said that of the total Rs 31,000 crore needed, despite mobilising all sources, there would be a gap of Rs 12,300 crore. The Committee had suggested direct election of City Mayor with a five-year term, instead of the present one-year term and election by Corporators.

UNI

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