BENGALURU: The frothing, dying Bellandur Lake may get a new lease of life. In a generous gesture by the Centre, the Union Budget has allocated `750 crore to the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, primarily for the city’s polluted lakes. The board had sought only `500 crore, said a top official.
Speaking to Express, the official said the sum was sought to set up eight Sewage Treatment Plants near the polluted Bellandur Lake and on its upstream areas. Infrastructure for the upcoming Cauvery project was also a priority. “A gravity pipeline needs to be set up from Netkal Balancing Reservoir to Thoraikkadanahalli at `160 crore as part of the Cauvery Water Supply Stage V Project. The Centre’s share in the project is roughly 50 per cent and that also forms part of the allocation,” he said.
The Centre had informed BWSSB of its interest in reviving the polluted lakes of Bengaluru and hence the higher allocation, the official said.
The city’s largest lake, spread over 900 acres, had served as the lifeline for the villages of Bellandur, Yamalur, Kempapura, Kariammana Agrahara, Belur, Challaghatta and Nagasandra until a few decades ago. But it has turned into a large septic tank due to untreated sewage entering from various points. Bellandur Lake shot to prominence when it started foaming due to pollution and caught fire in May 2015.
Fm’s 9 Pillars
1 Agri, farmers’ welfare with focus on doubling their income in 5 years
2 Rural sector with focus on jobs
3 Social sector
4 Edu skills, jobs to make India productive
5 Infra, investment to boost efficiency, quality of life
6 Financial sector reforms
7 Governance & ease of doing biz
8 Fiscal discipline
9 Tax reforms
What’s Good, What’s Not
Apart from allocations for lake clean-up and Namma Metro, the state gets no special grants.
It pins its hopes on a boost for long-delayed irrigation projects, rural development and start-ups
Efforts to connect city and rural areas by improving roads have been appreciated. But citizens opine that special funds should have been set aside for developing city’s infrastructure
Chief Financial Officer, Wipro Limited
This Is a Balanced Budget
The minister is balancing investment needs of a growth economy with commitments on fiscal discipline. The Union Budget focuses on investment in infrastructure and social sectors while attempting to widen the tax base. The measures announced for the rural economy should boost productivity and incomes leading to growth in consumption. Efforts to enhance the ease of doing business has received a fillip with focus on simplifying tax compliance. The government hasresponded positively to representation from the Industry to extend the sunset date on units in Special Economic Zone on account of the gestationtime taken to operationalise production units in SEZ. I applaud the efforts to increase the use of technology in e-governance as well as steps takentowards Digital Inclusion. I welcome the special patent regime which will encourage research and lead to generation of intellectual property in India.
Director, Gopalan Enterprises
WE expected cut in interest rates
We expected a reduction in the interest rates to boost the housing industry. However, that did not come through. If benefits are given to the housing industry, it would help in increasing the GDP by at least 1 to 1.5 per cent. Had they given tax benefits for budget flats, a lot of builders would have gone for it. It would also have made housing more affordable to the common man. At present, we are building for the end user to pay. I feel this budget is more of a populist budget. The positive aspect is that emphasis has been given to agriculture and skill development. Education could have seen more investment.
Mysore Industries Association president
Stand Up India will benefit entrepreneurs
‘Stand Up India’ project that aims to facilitate at least two projects per bank branch will benefit 2.5 lakh entrepreneurs and there are plans to set up national SC/ST hubs in partnership with industry associations.
Coast WElcomes Budget
Mangaluru/Udupi/Madikeri: The coast and the coffee land has welcomed the Budget. The allocations made for rural infrastructure, are expected to be good for coastal and Kodagu districts. “The budget proposals come at a time when rural areas are getting that awful feeling of being let down by the government. This has brought a ray of hope,” said Seetharam Bolar, former bureaucrat.