New BJP government pledges to improve city infrastructure, initiate reforms


Bangalore : The new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has pledged to improve the crumbling infrastructure in India’s IT hub and will set up a separate cell to focus on completing pending civic projects and initiating new schemes to expand basic amenities.

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Admitting that unplanned growth of Bangalore had choked the city with heavy vehicular traffic and led to deficiencies in water supply and sanitation, Karnataka Governor Ramashwar Thakur Friday said the cell would also tackle pressing issues related to regularisation of illegal constructions and the capital value system of property.

“Though Bangalore has gained importance globally as a prime destination for knowledge economy, the civic area has expanded to 800 square km from 226 square km over a decade. My government will take up urgent measures to improve the infrastructure by completing pending projects and providing civic amenities in the extended areas,” Thakur told the law-makers at a joint session of the state legislature in Vidhan Soudha, the seat of power.

Similarly, the state government plans to formulate an urban development policy to develop towns and cities across the state. Funds will be allocated to the respective ministries to provide urban amenities in rural areas, as suggested by former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

“Even as majority of the people live in rural areas, Karnataka is getting increasingly urbanised. The urban development policy will address the infrastructure needs of rural as well as urban areas,” Thakur said in his 30-minute address to the newly constituted 13th legislative assembly.

On the reform front, the first BJP government in the southern state plans to follow the UPA government at the centre by launching a slew of socio-economic reforms to reap the benefits of a global economy.

“We are living in an era of globalisation and liberalisation. Just as several reforms have been effected at the central level, laws and procedures will be simplified and bottlenecks on the way to rapid economic and social development will be removed,” Thakur affirmed.

Referring to the backward status of the erstwhile Hyderabad-Karnataka region owing to historical reasons, the governor said the state government would persuade the centre to accord special status to the Deccan region under Article 371 of the constitution as was done in the neighbouring states of Maharashtra (Vidarbha region) and Andhra Pradesh (Telengana region).

“The government will also implement the Nanjundappa committee report to develop backward areas in central and north Karnataka for ensuring regional balance in socio-economic development,” Thakur noted.

Of the 176 taluks (cluster of villages) across the state, the Nanjundappa committee identified 114 as backward.

The BJP government will also implement the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act to protect the autonomy of temples and charitable institutions with suitable amendments to the Act.