Congress promises to decongest Greater Bangalore Region (With Promises galore in Congress manifesto for Karnataka polls)

Bangalore, April 24 (IANS) The opposition Congress Wednesday promised to create a Greater Bangalore Region to decongest this choked tech hub of nine million denizens, if elected to power in the state assembly polls of May 5.

“We commit to create a Greater Bangalore Region with infrastructure and administrative connection to neighbouring towns like Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Doddaballapura, Tumkur, Ramanagara and Kanakapura, as the existing city is congested and densely populated,” Congress state unit president D. Paramashwera said, releasing the party’s manifesto for the ensuing polls.

Of the 224 assembly constituencies across the state, Bangalore has 28 seats, which will be crucial for Congress as it has been out of power since February 2006, after its 20-month coalition government with the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) fell.

“We will enact a law exclusively for the civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara (Greater Bangalore City) bringing under a single agency all service providers such as water supply and sewage, transport, housing, power and developmental authorities,” the manifesto said, in a separate chapter devoted to the state capital.

Incidentally, Bangalore shot to fame as the IT capital of India during the then Congress government under the chief ministership of the tech-savvy S.M. Krishna, who recently resigned as the country’s external affairs minister.

“If elected to power again, we promise to undertake massive rapid transit system by developing circular railway and will construct north-south and south-east elevated flyovers with wings; speed up and develop traffic parking lots and permit private operators to build the same,” Paramashwara said, after the party’s central leader and Defence Minister A.K. Antony released the manifesto.

Assuring Bangaloreans that the party would work to make theirs a slum-free city in five years by building apartments in areas of slum dwellers, the manifesto proposes a mechanism within the civic body to improve surrounding villages that have come into the expanded city limits, including town municipalities.

“We will strive to regain Bangalore’s reputation as a garden city by undertaking massive tree plantation and lake revival programmes, involving residents’ associations,” the manifesto said.

To minimise air pollution, the party promises to make use of compressed natural gas (CNG) in public transport vehicles, including buses operated by the state-run BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation).

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