With a dedicated manifesto for India’s tech hub, Bengaluru region, the ruling Congress on Saturday promised to spend Rs 1 lakh-crore on developing the city’s infrastructure. “We will ensure that a world class infrastructure is created in Bengaluru with an expenditure of at least Rs 1 lakh-crore from the state and Central governments to make the city eligible for consideration as the second capital of India,” read the manifesto for Bengaluru region. The manifesto was released here on Saturday by Sam Pitroda, the former Advisor to ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The Congress said it would set up a city ombudsman office to address all civic issues, and make development and rejuvenation of city’s lakes its priority. While as many as 262 water bodies existed in the city till 1960s, rapid urbanisation has brought down their number to about 80, of which only 34 are recognised as live lakes, according to the state government’s data. “We will make all the existing lakes pollution-free in the next five years,” it vowed.
The party also said it would set up a Metropolitan Planning Committee to monitor the growth of the state capital and the towns surrounding it. The manifesto mentioned that the party would build more roads, flyovers, 2,000km of footpaths and widen the city’s roads, which are choked with vehicular traffic during the rush hours. The party, however, did not mention the exact expenditure it plans to commit for the development of roads, flyovers and the like.
The Congress also plans to build underground lanes to decongest the city’s traffic on the lines of Delhi Metro underground line, according to the manifesto. In a bid to retain power in the poll-bound southern state, the party had vowed to create one crore jobs across Karnataka in its manifesto, released by party President Rahul Gandhi on Friday in the port city of Mangaluru, 370 km west from here.
Information Technology (IT) would be made an important driver of the state’s economy by increasing the field’s contribution from the current $60 billion to $300 billion, the ruling party said. Currently, the state capital Bengaluru alone, which is home to over 750 multinationals and 2,000 IT firms, contributes about 40 per cent of the country’s total IT exports.