Rs 7,000 crore: The big Bengaluru bonanza

Bengaluru: Although an approximate of Rs 7,000 crore is said to be doled out for the comprehensive development of Bengaluru, including expansion of Namma Metro to ease congestion, most of the projects appears to have spilled over from the previous budget. However, the budget has a few good takeaways like setting up of air quality monitoring stations, thrust on rejuvenation of Tippagondanahalli and Hesaraghatta lakes, at a whopping cost of `340 crore, to improve water supply to Bengaluru.

Around 2.5 TMC of water available from Yethinahole project will be supplied for Bengaluru city for drinking water purpose. With this, by 2021 around 200 MLD water will be supplied to Bengaluru on a daily basis. Along with other measures, the government plans to ensure that Bengaluru gets 2,375 MLD by 2023.

Apart from rejuvenation of lakes, the polluted Bellandur Lake gets importance as plan has been taken up to revive it at a whopping cost of Rs 50 crore. The government has also announced ambitious project to generate power from waste. It aims to solve solid waste problem and generate electricity too. The state envisages to set up Cyber Forensic Laboratories at a cost of Rs 5 crore to effectively investigate and prevent cyber crimes.

Apart from doling out 247 crore for IT-BT sector and for incubation programmes for start ups, 14 roads have been proposed to be developed to ease congestion on the roads connecting ITPL – the IT hub. White topping of all arterial roads and sub-arterial roads will be taken up in the next five years. Initially white topping will be taken up for 150 km length in 2018-19.

The government has said that to fast track the smart city project, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has been constituted an action plan for the projects under the scheme has been finalised.

Multi-storey parking facility
Without making any allocation in the budget, Mr Siddaramaiah announced that multi storey parking facility will come up at Koramangala 4th Block, near Jayanagar complex and in BBMP head office premise at Hudson  Circle on PPP model.

Hassle-free citizen service
With an intention to provide hassle free service to citizens, including extracting Khatha, approval to building plan, electricity connection and water and permission for road cutting automated online software will be developed in BBMP and all Urban Local Bodies.

Unaccounted for water to be reduced to 37 per cent. Technical and commercial leakage of water, which was at 49 percent, was  brought down to 40 per cent during 2017-18 and in 2018-19 it will be brought down to 37 per cent, Mr Siddaramaiah said.

Namma Metro Phase 3 coming

The budget has reiterated that Phase 2 of Namma Metro, covering 72 km, will be thrown open to the public by March 2021 and also announced the proposed route under Phase 3. The total project cost of Phase 1 and 2 will `26,405 crore. Upon completion, Namma Metro will become a ring rail network in the city, the chief minister tweeted.

As for Phase 3, a detailed project report will be prepared for 105.55 km long line, which will be from J.P. Nagar to K.R. Puram via Hebbal, Toll Gate to Kadabagere, Gottigere to Basavapura, R K Hegde Nagar to Aerospace Park, Kogilu Cross to Rajanakaunte, Bomma sandra to Attibele and Ibaluru to Karmelram. With this the total length of all the three phases will be 266 km, the budget stated.

Suburban rail
After the State submitted a draft report 2016 of Bengaluru Suburban Rail estimated at Rs 10,929 crore, 80 per cent of the amount was released (Rs 280 crore) to convert to Mainline Electric Multiple Unit rakes.

The Chief Minister said, "Recently we have decided to start Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for Bengaluru suburban rail project, jointly with the Railway Ministry. To implement Phase-1 at a planned expenditure of Rs 1,745 crore, we have sanctioned Rs 349 crore towards SPV equity."

However, neither the State nor Union Railway Ministry has formally announced the formation of a separate agency to oversee and implement the project.

Coach factory
An MOU was signed between the State and Railway Ministry in 2014 to setup Rail Coach Factory in Kolar district at a cost of Rs 1,461 crore. It was to be split on a 50:50 basis and land will be provided free. "We are committed to the project and are ready to transfer the available Government land as well as meet our share of the project cost. We urge the Railway Ministry to start work on this project during 2018-19," Siddaramaiah said.

Cycling tracks
The budget has envisaged Rs 25 crore to build cycling infrastcture in tier-2 cities. "Pedestrian path improvement and development of cycling infrastructure in tier-2 cities will be taken up on priority to encourage increased cycle distribution schemes and commuting by pedestrians,” the budget stated.

With the success of the Mysuru public bicycle use system project, Directorate of Urban Land Transport and BBMP are implementing Trin Trin by issuing permit to multi-managers, the budget added.

Rs 50 crore for Bellandur Lake rejuvenation

In order to preserve crucial aspects of environment in the state, Siddaramaiah government has allotted Rs 1,949 crore for forest, environment and ecology.

Bellandur lake, which has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, will receive Rs 50 crore for its rejuvenation, while the BBMP has been entrusted with the task to develop 40 lakes in the city. To protect the rivers, the state government will take up tree plantation over a width of one kilometre on either side of the rivers to treat its catchment areas. An amount of Rs 10 crore has been proposed for the programme.

Rs 96 crore has been allocated to develop 42 air monitoring stations in all the districts of the state, with funding from the District Mineral Fund.

The budget stated that “Comprehensive development of 12 lakes, out of 117, within the limit of BDA has been completed. The 17 lakes are being developed at an expenditure of `62 crore. Survey of 70 lakes has been completed and action will be taken to develop the same after removing encroachments.”

Free bus passes to students

The state government has announced in the budget that 19.60 lakh students will be provided with free bus passes. While a total of Rs 2,028 crore has been allotted to the transport department for the year  2018-19.

Keeping women empowerment in mind, light motor vehicle (LMV) driving training will be imparted to 100 women by the transport department. 

They will be trained at heavy vehicle driving training institutes in Bengaluru and Dharwad and to 1,000 women candidates through the BMTC centre. 
For the year 2018-19, around 30 bus stations, eight bus depots, 325 bus shelters will be upgraded.

Double decker buses

As first kind of initiative in the country, 10 double decker buses will be purchased through Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) for operation between cities.

Under skill development scheme nearly 13,000 youth will be provided training in driving and bus repairs.
CCTV in buses

For the safety of women, CCTV cameras will be installed in 1000 BMTC buses under Nirbhaya Scheme. Fly Bus to 7 cities

The government will extend the Fly Bus service to the Kempegowda International Airport to seven places, currently it is available only for two cities.

Driving training will be provided to  200 Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates in Bengaluru and Dharwad Heavy Vehicle Drivers Training Institutes under SCSP/TSP scheme to create employment opportunities.

After training, these candidates will be encouraged to buy a transport vehicles, a scheme has been formulated to provide loan of Rs 15 lakh with zero per cent interest.

A shot in arm for digitisation

The state government has provided an outlay of Rs 147 crore to the e-governance department, with emphasis on digitisation. The government aims at functioning more transparent and efficient while providing convenience to the citizens. The government has proposed to upgrade SAKAALA 2.0 using modern e-governance tools such as e-Sign, Digital Locker etc., and services will be made faceless, cashless and paperless. This enables people to submit application and avail services to any of the Citizen Service Centre (CSC).

A Centre for Smart Governance to assist the departments in developing, re-designing/maintaining these e-Governance software to provide different citizen services has also been proposed in the budget, besides launching of an e-attestation facility to overcome the problems being faced by citizens in attestation of their records.

The government has kept aside Rs 5 crore to formulate Karnataka Open Data Initiative (K-ODI) system to implement the recommendation of Karnataka Gnana Ayoga within three years to provide open data/information to the public. 

The Gnana Ayoga has recommended the use of big data in the State’s administration for which the government will provide Rs 3 crore to formulate the scheme in the year 2018-19.

Home department gets Rs 6,647

The government plans to increase the representation of women in police force to 25 per cent. The state budget has set aside `6,647 crore to Home Department for the year 2018-19. The budget mentioned that a new policy will be formulated and implemented with regard to direct recruitment in police department for the State’s athletes, who have had extraordinary achievements in the field of national or international level sports. While a permanent Police Services Recruitment Board will be established to take up the process of police recruitment.

The state government will also enhance the capacity of the existing police training schools in the next two years. With an expenditure of Rs 50 crore, training capacity will be enhanced in the next two years from 3,200 to 5,000. A memorial will be built in Bengaluru to honour the bravery displayed by police personnel, at a cost of Rs 5 crore.

Cyber crimes
In order to fight the increasing number of cyber cimes, Cyber Forensic Laboratories will be set up at a cost of Rs 5 crore to carry out effective investigation. Department’s information technology network will be strengthened by upgrading software with a view to make the police system more citizen friendly and broadband network efficiency will be increased in all the police stations in the state.

Nirbhaya kendras
Keeping safety of women as top priority “Nirbhaya kendras” will be established in all the police commissioner’s offices of the state.  All the women police stations in the District Head Quarters will be upgraded as one stop service centres. Toilets for women will be constructed in all police stations and offices. For speedy disposal of pending trials a linking system will be provided to all district prisons and courts. A new high security prison will be constructed at Mangaluru at a cost of Rs 85 crore.

Karnataka Prison Development Board will be established to give skill training in various professions to prisoners to enable their rehabilitation. At a cost of `100 crore, a high security branch will be established at Central Prison, Bengaluru.

213 fire stations
Under KSAFE-I scheme, by establishing 213 fire stations, fire safety has been extended in 174 talukas out of 176 of talukas of the state. Fire safety will be improved and disaster and emergency management will be upgraded in existing talukas and new fire stations will be established under KSAFE-II scheme in newly formed 50 talukas in the next five years.

In order to provide rehabilitation after retirement, the data of all ex-servicemen of the state will be prepared and linked to the Skill Development Department.

Rs 247 crore: IT & BT sector strikes it big

Information Technology and Biotech sector have received Rs 247 crore for the year 2018-2019. 

In order to promote start-ups in the state, an Incubation centre will be established in Kalaburagi in association with Deshpande Foundation at a cost of `5 crore.
Karnataka Innovation Authority will be established to promote innovation in different areas under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, and a grant of `1 crore will be given to providing scholarship for research students of PhD in science and engineering. 

An archive of patents will be created so as to facilitate storing, corroborating and exchange of patents with an aim to promoting patents.

A huge impetus is being given to startups through the launch of new programmes in manufacturing sector and protection of Intellectual Property (IP) rights. 
A ‘Legal Framework for Innovation’ will be established in order to bring new and emerging technologies under a legal framework until the appropriate law is enacted. As a result, this will enable the introduction of such technologies in the State.

The budget also points out that women in IT sector find it difficult to continue after completion of maternity leave or study leave, due to lack of updated skills. 
The state budget says distinct schemes will be formulated to assist such women in developing their skills.


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