Friday, October 17, 2008

Bengaluru to get a facelift by 2020 - CIOL News Reports

Bengaluru to get a facelift by 2020 - CIOL News Reports
An elaborate blueprint to pull Bengaluru out of the urban chaos is finally taking shape. R Chandrasekhar, MP and President, FICCI who is also the Convener, Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure and Development (ABIDE) has presented to BS Yeddyurappa CM, Karnataka, a status progress report of his Task Force. ABIDE is an initiative of Yeddyurappa to deal with the multiple problems of one of India's fastest growing cities.

'Plan Bengaluru 2020' envisages a host of measures to tap the potential of the city to become India's showpiece city and an internationally prominent metropolis. It looks at new urban models, upgrading of infrastructure and a better quality of life.

The Task Force under the supervision of Chandrasekhar is looking at roads, traffic management, transportation, water, sanitation, power, airport, railways, policing, enforcement, law and order, city facilities, citizen centric governance, heritage, environment, government schools and colleges and a better deal for the urban poor.

Chandrasekhar said that his key objective is to make Bengaluru the preferred metropolis of India, which will serve as a gateway of investment and prosperity into Karnataka. ABIDE is working on Plan Bengaluru 2020, which is a comprehensive, ward wise, Integrated Development Plan for the much debated IT city.

Participating agencies like the Bruhath Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Bangalore Development Authority, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, Namma Metro, High Speed Rail Link and others will now have to submit plans to the Task Force so that work could be started. Dates are being fixed for completion of various projects and will be constantly monitored by ABIDE.

Among many plans on the anvil is to build new roads, over bridges, develop water bodies, set-up water and sewerage systems, work on alternative transport systems and computerize RTO's to regularize tax collection and empower officers to collect fines.

Bengaluru will have a water shortage of 655 million liters a day by 2020. The Bangalore Water Supply Sewerage Board has been asked to take up water works without waiting for approval under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. There is a proposal to make rainwater harvesting mandatory. In four wards to be selected by the government, water is going to be supplied all round the day. One of these wards will probably get it within the next three months.

ABIDE's findings on planning and governance show that there are too many plan documents and no integration of plans and jurisdictions. It also pointed out that there was no single blueprint to manage the cities growth and its services. This is crucial as the population of Bengaluru is expected to touch 160 lakh by 2020.

The Task Force has recommended that planning for the city must be from a metropolitan region perspective and therefore it was necessary to strengthen the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority.

Another idea is to develop model wards, as it will help set-up examples that will help in further planning and execution.

New townships are envisaged too with proper distribution of population that would follow specified planning guidelines.

It said that the townships had to be positioned in such a way that connectivity, transportation, water and infrastructure expansion was underway.

Land acquisition all over India has been a problem as new projects come up. To overcome disputes and speed up development, a new model is suggested where landowners are given compensation through cash or land that can be developed.

They can also be offered employment. New roads would have a green ribbon of trees on both sides with provisions for future elevated transit systems, metro or mono rail to be made.

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