Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s deadlines to improve life in Bangalore are lapsing quietly, with no officials paying any attention to them.
Over the last six months, Siddaramaiah set several deadlines for a pothole-free, clean city. He had promised to go on city rounds once every two months, but he hasn’t gone on any after the first one.
In October, after laying the foundation for a grade separator on West of Chord Road at 10th Cross in Rajajinagar, he had announced 230 major roads would be asphalted at a cost of `560 crore. However, even in mid-December, work has not begun.
Sources in Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said only 128 roads would be taken up for asphalting in the first phase. “We are doing basic ground work and asphalting will begin by the first or second week of January. The remaining roads will be asphalted only by the end of April,” a source said.
Making Bangalore garbage-free was another big announcement. In July, while launching a drive for 22 kasa-mukta (garbage-free) wards, Siddaramaiah had said the city would be garbage-free in six months.
The project did not succeed, BBMP officials admit. According to N Ramakanth, member of the BBMP’s solid waste management expert committee, a garbage-free city is still a long way off. The Karnataka Compost Development Corporation unit in Bommanahalli and the Organic Waste India unit in Mandur need 100 tonnes of wet waste each.
“If segregation succeeds in the 22 wards, we get at least 250 tonnes. The units are not getting the waste, which means disposal is not being done properly,” N Ramakanth, member of the BBMP’s solid waste management expert committee said.
Waiting for the Train
During his city rounds, the Chief Minister had said Namma Metro’s reach-3 (Swastik to Yeshwanthpur) would be operational by November. That deadline lapsed, too. Only now, in December, are the Metro authorities talking about a trial run.
“The runs will take one week to complete. After that, by the end of this month, we will get a clearance certificate. Later, we have to approach the Railway Safety Commission. How much time they take is beyond our control,” a Metro official said.
Delay in Underpass Work
The CNR Rao Underpass near the IISc has missed many deadlines set by the Chief Minister and the mayor.
According to BBMP Chief Engineer (major roads) Somashekar, work is progressing.
“One side, that is Yeshwanthpur to Maramma Circle, has four lanes and could be open to the public by the end of December. The other side, from Yeshwanthpura to Mekhri Circle, will be completed by January end,” he said.
Going by Siddaramaiah’s deadline, the underpass had to be ready by December.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was not available for comment, but R Ramalinga Reddy, District In-charge Minister, offered explanations for the delay.
Some formalities, like taking permission from Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), had slowed down the waste disposal process, he said.
“We are giving permission to many companies to set up waste-to-energy units. Once they start functioning, Bangalore’s garbage problem will be solved,” Ramalinga Reddy said.
On roads, Reddy said asphalting would be completed in two phases by May.