BANGALORE: The State Government has decided to develop seven tier-two cities encompassing all the Revenue divisions in the State.
Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has termed the programme “Looking beyond Bangalore,” funds for which will be provided by the State.
All the seven city municipal corporations, including the recently formed Davangere City Corporation, will receive a special grant for the development of infrastructure. The cities will get special attention with regard to the development of air connectivity irrespective of the fact that some of them already have airports.
For certain major projects, the Government has decided to provide financial guarantee to enable the municipal corporations to raise funds from financial institutions.
Sources in the State Secretariat told The Hindu here that the programme was aimed at changing the face of the seven cities that include Belgaum and Hubli-Dharwad in Belgaum division; Gulbarga and Bellary in the Gulbarga division, Mysore and Mangalore in Mysore division; and Davangere in Bangalore division.
A few days ago, the Chief Minister informally reviewed the progress made in implementation of the programme, the aim of which is to not only decongest Bangalore, but also prevent migration of people from the rural areas to Bangalore. Mr. Yeddyurappa told The Hindu that the Finance Department had been directed to release the funds. Each of the seven cities will receive a special grant of Rs. 100 crore for the development of infrastructure including ring roads and flyovers, and beautification of public parks and lakes. During the implementation of the programme, the Government will hold an investors’ meet in each of the regions.
This special grant is apart from the funds received from the Centre under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The Government has constituted task forces headed by the district in-charge Ministers to monitor the development work in the cities. The task forces will comprise legislators, the Mayor concerned, eminent citizens and important industrialists and businessmen of the city.
In Mangalore, the Government has opted for expansion of the airport, and 180 acres of land is being made over to the Airports Authority of India for increasing the length of the runway and expanding the terminal building.