The State budget has a few welcome features for Bengaluru. The setting up of a unified transport authority is long overdue and badly needed to coordinate and achieve mobility objectives across multiple agencies. This authority must embrace needs of pedestrians and cyclists. It should penalise private vehicle usage and promote public transport.
The emphasis on Elevated flyovers is unfortunately a wrong signal that welcomes more private transport. It is non sustainable to be able to meet private vehicle demand. Some flyovers are definitely needed but to have a network across the city will have lot of negative effects on city liveability and on life at ground level. Taking power cables underground welcome and will help clear the footpaths and improve the skyline look though there is the elevated roads to contend with! Recognising plastics as a problem area is good. One wishes they had banned all flex usage too.
The PRR has no fresh thinking. So status quo there. No new ideas for garbage management and the problem of lake frothing will not be fixed with Rs. 50 crores and soap nut detergents. One hoped for faster execution of STP plants and action against lake land encroachers.
The budget could have set up an economic development agency for Bengaluru to attract investments and job creation as a public private participation. The slum rehab projects need to learn from best practices elsewhere and ensure that the real estate players give a fair deal to the under privileged occupants. The State must focus on being a enabler, provide sound policy guidelines and not be in project execution as set out for low income housing and EV charging infrastructure.