Bangalore: “Isn’t our roads in good condition?” This was how Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is also holding the Bangalore development portfolio, reacted in the Legislative Council on Thursday when Opposition parties raised the issue of bad roads in the City.
Siddaramaiah initially tried to defend his government on the issue, claiming that there was nothing wrong with the roads in Bangalore.
But when Opposition members cornered him by citing specific examples, he admitted that the roads in all 198 wards of the city need to be upgraded and assured that it will be done by December 2014.
Earlier, when JD(S) member E Krishnappa, who raised the issue, sought to know why the government was not declaring Bangalore a pothole-free city if roads were really in good condition, the chief minister said it would be difficult to count the number of potholes on the roads.
The condition was very bad last year.
The government repaired roads spending close to Rs 1,000 crore between June and October 2013. Bangalore has a road network of about 14,000 km.
All of them cannot be upgraded at once. Moreover, the government has been facing a number of administrative and financial hurdles in this regard, he said.
The then BMP has become BBMP, but there has not been much difference as far as revenue to the local body is concerned.
The BBMP has close to 25 lakh houses in its limits, but the owners of not even half of these have been paying property tax.
As a result, BBMP was able to collect only Rs 1,300 crore property tax in 2012-13, against the target of Rs 2,500 crore.
The same is the state of affairs in the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board. The water supply utility has been able to collect water tariff from only about 52 per cent of the consumers.
However, the government has been making efforts to set things right, he said.
Replying to another question pertaining to garbage disposal problem by Tara (BJP), he said the government will find a solution to garbage dumping problem at Mandur village within five months.
The government has entered into an agreement with the villagers and promised to stop garbage dumping after five months. Steps have been taken to ensure that garbage is segregated and disposed of properly in the coming days, the chief minister said.
He said desilting of stormwater drains has been taken up across Bangalore. Re-construction of drains is also being done wherever necessary, he added.