It’s Rs 1 lakh crore for Bengaluru: Congress manifesto

Bengaluru: Rs 1 lakh crore for Bengaluru’s development, world class infrastructure for the traffic-hamstrung city and a bid to make the IT city the second capital of the country… These are some of the promises the Congress made in its manifesto, which was released in Bengaluru on Saturday. 

Installation of solar panels on government buildings to make them eco-friendly, extending Namma Metro to nearby districts, white-topping of all major roads in city, expanding coverage of TenderSURE to more roads and setting up of a city ombudsman’s office to act as a regulator of all civic agencies are some of the major promises the manifesto, released by technocrat Sam Pitroda, contains. 

The document promises to build more flyovers and execute road widening exercises to accommodate the increasing vehicle population and improve connectivity. 

It also emphasised on lake development and rejuvenation, levying of strict fines on commercial establishments that are responsible for encroachment and prevent encroachment of footpaths. 

It has planned the Metropolitan Planning Committee and Greater Bengaluru Authority to manage Bengaluru better. 

Construction of advanced drainage systems and water purification plants, setting up of garbage processing units, where electricity can be generated from waste and construction of skywalks at junctions are among the other major promises. 

Civic evangelist V. Ravichandar said, “It has a mix of ideas and projects. Emphasis is on governance and administration measures and focus on sustainable solutions for mobility, waste management, roads, environment welcome. Highlighting the scope to be the second capital is an innovative idea. Can provide a fillip to better city development if accepted.”

Slamming the promise to build more flyovers to ease traffic, Mr Srinivas Alavilli, founder member of Citizens for Bengaluru, said, “The Congress city manifesto seems to be well rounded, though it puts flyovers at the very top. Let’s give the next five years to public transport, please! It is disappointing not to find any intent to curb the rampant commercialisation of residential areas and encroachment to storm water drains.” 

Don’t take Karnataka polls lightly: Technocrat Sam Pitroda
Technocrat Sam Pitroda, who has shared close ties with the Gandhi family, warned the Congress not to take things for granted and to reach out to people. After releasing the Congress manifesto here on Saturday, he said, “Karnataka elections will not be easy and it is very crucial for the Congress to win, as this will be the stepping stone to get to power in 2019 by throwing out the Bharatiya Janata Party.” He said that there are a lot of challenges before the party, like fighting anti-incumbency and false propaganda. Sharing his views on the power of money in elections, he said that money power works everywhere.  He suggested to the party to reach out to people through personal contacts, meetings and other modes. “During elections, lies sell very well and the social media amplifies them and people who do this, easily hide behind cyber walls.” 

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