Kempe gowda was the founder of Bengaluru and his contribution to the development of the city is enormous. For the first time, the government has decided to celebrate Kempegowda Jayanti on June 27 and it will be an annual affair henceforth. The celebrations will also be held in districts and taluks. With this, the government wants to educate people on the achievements and contributions of Bengaluru’s founder.
Kempegowda erected four towers in four corners of the city, with the hope that the city would grow till these far corners. But today, the capital of Karnataka has grown beyond these towers and has become the fastest growing city in Asia. IT-BT companies and major industries have set up base in and around Bengaluru, and with the IT-BT boom has come the moniker, Silicon Valley of India. It’s because of the efforts of Kempegowda that Bengaluru has attained name and fame at the international level.
Today, Bengaluru is pioneering in many fields, including education, industry, sports and culture. It boasts of Brand Bengaluru. Recently, the World Economic Forum identified Bengaluru as the most dynamic city in the world. With a population of over one crore, the city is home to different sections of people from different parts of the country and world. The government has taken steps to provide all necessary infrastructure, like transport, drinking water, housing, roads, flyovers, parks, bus shelters etc, to the people.
The addition of 110 villages and seven city municipal councils to the BBMP has posed several challenges before government agencies on providing infrastructure. The government has already started schemes to supply Cauvery water to these 110 villages. At the same time, the government is also planning to extend transport facilities to those on the periphery of the city.
At present, 67 lakh vehicles are on the road in the city and of them, 40 lakh are two-wheelers. To ease traffic congestion, the government has taken measures to provide mass rapid transport systems to Bengalureans. The government has completed Phase-1 of Namma Metro, which runs for 36 km, helping a large number of commuters. Though the project started in 2008-09, the then government could complete only 6 km. But our government has completed the remaining 30 km in four years and opened the Majestic interchange station for public use. The government has spent Rs 13,845 crore on the first phase of Metro. The second phase covering 72 km will be completed by 2020 and already, 20 percent of the works have been completed. The government will spend Rs 26,000 crore for Phase II.
The government has decided to ply 3,000 additional buses in the city. Of them, 1,500 will be purchased directly by the BMTC, while the remaining 1,500 buses will be hired on lease basis. For the first time, the government is operating such a large number of buses for the benefit of the people. In the 2016-17 budget, I earmarked Rs 7,300 crore for the development of Bengaluru infrastructure. By December 2017, all works will be completed, in which flyovers, grade-separators, signal-free corridors, skywalks and development of roads have been taken up. The government has chalked out a plan to provide Cauvery water to the entire city. We have been providing drinking water to slum dwellers in the city free of cost and we will also construct one lakh houses to the economically weaker sections of society.
To improve the dynamics of the city, the government will provide necessary infrastructure, including the suburban train, for the people. City rounds helped me get first-hand information on the city’s infrastructure. For the Smart City project, though the Centre provides 50 percent of funds, the state government has to take the responsibility of land acquisition and 50 percent of the funds.
Recently, we set up the Kempegowda Development Authority to take up developmental works in the name of city’s founder. We have named the Bengaluru International Airport after Kempegowda. The government is also planning to name one of the three universities of Bengaluru after Kempegowda. I wish happy Kempegowda Jayanthi to the people of Karnataka....