Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy and his team who went to New Delhi to meet the Prime Minister and other ministers to push for Centrally-funded projects for the city returned empty handed on Sunday.
The BBMP delegation comprising 35 members, councillors and officials did not get an appointment to meet the PM. They had to be content with meeting three Union ministers, who assured them with looking into their demands.
The highlight of the visit, however, turned out be something that the team had not planned in advance. “We could not meet the PM and other Cabinet ministers. But we are really impressed with the public toilets in New Delhi and plan to construct similar toilets in Bangalore,” Murthy said. “In Delhi, toilets are constructed and maintained by advertisement companies. They are well maintained, hi-tech, clean and luxurious,” he said.
Over Rs 3 lakh was spent on air fare for the BBMP delegation which was in Delhi from February 28 to March 3. The BBMP also took care of other expenses of the delegation, which consisted of ruling and opposition party leaders, senior BJP councilors, BBMP superintendent engineer, chief engineers and an executive engineer.
The delegation met Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh seeking Centre’s nod to rename Bangalore International Airport Ltd as Kempegowda Airport. “The minister said he will place the proposal in the coming Cabinet meet and will get approval for the same,” the Mayor said.
Also, they met Union Defence Minister A K Antony seeking defence land in Bangalore for road widening. “Antony asked us to send a letter from the Chief Minister, stressing that the state government would give alternative land for the Defence,” he said.
The team also met Union Minister for Water Resource Harish Rawat and sought 30 TMC of Cauvery water for Bangalore. The mayor said that they could not meet Urban Development Minister Kamalnath and Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. “We also wanted to meet Central Ministers M Veerappa Moily, Mallikarjuna Kharge and K H Muniyappa,” he said.