The Karnataka cabinet on Wednesday approved ₹8015 crore for the development of Bengaluru, its growth engine, to assuage the city declining image that has taken a beating over piling up civic issues and inadequate infrastructure among other problems.
The money, that was budgeted in the current fiscal, will be in addition to the allocations made by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP, or the city’s civic body) and for a period of three years from 2019-2021, Krishna Byre Gowda, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) minister said on Wednesday.
He said that the money will be used for construction and development of flyover’s, storm water drains, lake rejuvenation, white-topping of roads and footpath among other infrastructure.
The approval comes at a time when the coalition government headed by chief minister H.D.Kumaraswamy has been signing off on big ticket projects like peripheral ring road (PRR), elevated corridors and other large infrastructure projects, that appears as an attempt to salvage the city, that prides itself as being the technology capital of the country, from further degradation.
Bengaluru facing the same problems as its counterparts in other states, where the focus largely remains on its main urban centre that attracts businesses, investments and large scale migration to support the spurt in auxiliary industries adding to the pressure on existing resources.
As its biggest urban centre, successive state governments and civic bodies have allocated significant portions of funds to develop Bengaluru, leaving little for the development of other parts resulting in skewed development and mass migration into India’s IT capital, adding to the pressure on inadequate infrastructure. However, delays in approvals and completion of works like the metro and other projects, have escalated costs and not brought down the troubles of the citizens in Bengaluru, that is home to over 10 million people and 7.5 million vehicles.
The state cabinet on Wednesday also decided to implement the contentious Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants promoted on the basis of Reservation Act 2017, days after Dalit groups threatened to intensify protests against the Kumaraswamy administration.
Though the bill has been passed in both houses of the Karnataka legislature and the president has given his assent, the government had not implemented the act as it was challenged in the Supreme Court and arguments are yet to conclude in the case.
A cabinet minister said that the implementing the act would impact as many as 65000 government employees, including around 3799 personnel from scheduled caste and scheduled tribe who were demoted as a result of the case in the apex court. Another 5002 people from general category who were promoted after the matter was challenged, are also expected to be directly affected.
The law deals with a “catch up clause" which guarantees a one time promotion, subject to departmental rules for SC/ST employees. The government has decided to go ahead with the implementation of the act with a caveat that it will be subject to the outcome of the apex court’s verdict.