“A prosperous Bangalore is in the interest of the whole State. Grooming Bangalore into a global hub -is our motto”, Yeddyurappa said.
In just over three weeks of his becoming the chief minister, B S Yeddyurappa has carefully drawn up a list of his priorities that promises to strike a perfect balance between Bangalore’s development and that of rest of the State.
He has no hesitation in admitting that he is a crusader of farmers’ cause. But he is prudent enough to quickly add that “a prosperous Bangalore is in the interest of the whole State. Grooming Bangalore into a global hub — is our motto”.
Sharing his vision on Bangalore development for the first time after becoming the political head of the State with Deccan Herald on Sunday, BSY vowed to transform the City into a real global hub with its infrastructure on par with international standards.
Loud and clear
His message to disheartened investors is loud and clear: Stay put. “I will not let go any investor. They (investors) need not look for other destination. I will hold a separate meeting with them to understand their grievances… Karnataka today is in No 7 position in the country as far as development is concerned. My goal is to take it to No 1 position,” he stated.
BSY said he is presently working on the nitty-gritties of the City development.
A clear picture will be out on the day he presents the first independent budget of his own — which is likely in the second week of July.
But from where will the chief minister mobilise resources? “Initially we need Rs 5,000 crore for investment on infrastructure. I have approached Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram for money. When the Union government can give special grant for Mumbai development, why not for Bangalore? I will bring pressure on the Centre in this regard,” he asked.
Besides, BSY reiterated that those Bangaloreans belonging to middle-classes and above might also have to shoulder a “bit” of the responsibility, financially. He said he is holding discussions with officials on the possibility of imposing a cess without affecting the poorer sections. While not disclosing in what form the people would be taxed, he said the same would be indicated in the budget.
Will his plans about Bangalore make rural masses see red? No, according to BSY.
“Bangalore makes a major contribution to the State revenue. A prosperous Bangalore is in the interest of the State. We can divert money earned in Bangalore for development of rural areas,” he asserted.
In the same breath, he also defended attaching priority to rural development. “Over 30 per cent of State population is living in urban areas. If the migration is not stopped, it will grow to 50 per cent in next 25 years.
So, rural development is in the interest of urban people,” he said.
Review in 2 months
On whether he will set up a separate task force on the lines of the erstwhile BATF, pat came his reply: “I myself will review the progress made by all stakeholders in Bangalore’s development once in every two months. Every project will be completed in a time-bound manner.”
To understand the pulse of Bangaloreans, he has convened a meeting of trade experts, NGOs and resident welfare associations at the IISc campus on July 28. Based on the suggestions given by the participants, a development plan will be chalked out, he said. At the same time, he sounded a warning note to lax officials.
“I will not allow officials to get away with any ad hoc work. They cannot do things as per their whims and fancies,” he said.
He also said that his government would like to retain the HAL airport.
However, he tactfully avoided questions on elections to BBMP council and the fate of the controversial BMIC project. “I have not thought about it as yet… Let us do some good work and then go for elections.” But he said this is the right time for officers to work for the development of the City.
“If an officer wants to do good for the City, then this is the right time. There is no elected body,” the chief minister said.