Fund crunch delaying BBMP projects: Siddaramaiah

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Belgaum, December 3:  The State Government on Tuesday said several works taken up by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are progressing at a slow pace owing to shortage of funds.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah informed the Legislative Assembly that the cash-strapped BBMP has not cleared pending bills worth Rs. 1600 crore.

In a reply to N.A. Harris of the Congress during the question hour, the Chief Minister said the BBMP has appealed to the government for funds. The BBMP and the Bangalore Development Authority have taken up works such as road widening, grade separators, corridor development, footpaths, railway overpasses and underpasses, and signal free roads. But paucity of funds was a major reason for slow progress of works.

The BBMP has invited tenders for developing five corridors and 16 junctions to ensure smooth movement of vehicles. The signal-free corridors are Hosur Road (Central Silk Board to Vellara Junction); Outer Ring Road (Mysore Road to Central Silk Board); Old Airport Road (Vellara Circle to Kundalahalli Gate); Old Madras Road (Mekri Circle to Hope Farm) and Dr. Rajkumar Road (Yeshwantpur Circle to Okalipuram). The estimated cost of these projects was Rs. 618 crore, the Chief Minister said.

The number of vehicles in the city stood at 46 lakh, while the city’s population was 85 lakh. The tender process has been completed and an agency has been identified for taking up the Okalipuram junction grade separator and the estimated cost of the project is Rs. 188 crore.

Earlier, former Minister S. Suresh Kumar said the foundation stone for the project at Okalipuram was laid on December 10, 2012, but the work was moving at snail’s pace.

Works at the Kittur Rani Chenamma junction would commence shortly and it would cost Rs. 35.80 crore. Service roads would be developed near all grade separators to ensure smooth traffic, the Chief Minister said.

Grade separators

The government has proposed to take up four major grade separators. They are at Basaveshwara–Shivanahalli junction (West of Chord Road) at Rs. 58 crore; Rajajinagar (10th cross road) at Rs. 25 crore; Siddaiah Puranik Road (Magadi Road–Basaveshwaranagar) at Rs. 25 crore; and Shivananda Circle fly over (cost yet to be estimated).

The BDA spent Rs. 130.55 crore, Rs. 198.50 crore, and Rs 164.99 crore in 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13, respectively, for constructing overpasses and underpasses at various junctions. During the last three years, the BDA has completed 24 underpasses and overpasses (Rs 494.03 crore), the Chief Minister said.

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