BENGALURU: Karnataka’s biggest takeaway from the Union Budget was in the form of urban mobility. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced Central counterpart funding for Bengaluru Metro Phase 2 (A) and 2 (B) projects. The 58.19 km stretch from Central Silk Board junction to KR Puram and KR Puram to Kempegowda International Airport is estimated to cost Rs 14,788 crore, of which the Union Government’s direct funding is about 15 per cent.
Karnataka will also stand to gain from the Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway under flagship projects schemes. The 278-km expressway’s construction will begin in 2021-22, as per the budget document. Apart from these, the State did not receive any direct big-ticket projects. But allocation to R&D, health, agriculture, education, urban area sanitation, extension of tax holiday to startups, capital gain exemptions, and incentivising innovation and one-person companies, etc is expected to trickle down as a boost to the economy.
While opposition leaders criticised the budget for handing Karnataka a raw deal, BJP leaders, including CM B S Yediyurappa, hailed it as a pro-poor and pro-middle class budget. Many, including ministers, insisted that `14,778 crore was allocated for Bengaluru Metro, but a closer look suggests otherwise. The FM only announced Central counterpart funding of the total project cost of `14,778 crore. The Centre funds 15 per cent of the cost, 35 is raised from multilateral and bilateral development agencies through the Union Government, 35 per cent is funded by the State Government and the remaining 15 per cent is raised from the private sector.
“The announcement of ORR-Airport Metro is a big support for public transport and economic activities in Bengaluru. Next two steps for formal approval are consideration and recommendation by the Public Investment Board and approval by the CCEA. MoHUA is working to get these two steps completed within March 2021,” said Ajay Seth, MD, BMRCL.
The 58.19-km Metro stretch between Central Silk Board junction to KR Puram, and KR Puram to KIA to cost
B14,788 crore, of which direct Central funding is about 15%
State stands to gain from the 278-km Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway, whose construction will begin