Bengaluru Buzz: Over 3.27-lakh-cr budget | Tunnel road plan…and more

Other news of the week: Over 1 cr applicants for Gruha Jyothi scheme, BTP collects over Rs 22 lakh for violations and School of Wheels halted.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presented the first State Budget of his government. He claimed that the aim is to provide relief for inflation-affected citizens through five guarantee schemes by transferring Rs 52,000 crore to more than one crore families. The budget follows the Universal Basic Income being implemented for the first time. The outlay is over Rs 3.27 lakh crore.

The government has increased the Additional Excise Duty on Indian Made Liquor by 20%, and on beer by 5.71%, and proposes to revise guidance value of properties and set a higher revenue target from stamp duty and registration. It also proposes that the tax on some vehicle categories will be revised, while it has set high revenue targets for all departments.

There were also announcements that the National Education Policy (NEP) will be replaced by the State Education Policy. There will be Automated External Defibrillators in all district and taluk hospitals in memory of Dr Puneet Rajkumar.

Sources: Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindu

Tunnel roads plan to decongest traffic

The state government plans to conduct a feasibility study for building tunnel roads in two congested areas of the city centre to connect the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) with the IT corridors. The government is considering constructing tunnel roads between Hebbal and KR Puram via Mehkri Circle, Bengaluru Cantonment railway station, and Old Madras Road. A second stretch would connect Silk Board from Cantonment through Double Road, Lalbagh, and Hosur Road.

The feasibility study on tunnel roads to decongest traffic was planned through an ‘unofficial’ meeting with the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA), Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), other officials and stakeholders. It explored various solutions, including surface, elevated, double-decker tunnel roads, separate lanes for two-wheelers and models in other countries. The project was estimated to cost about Rs 50,000 crore. Experts from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Road Congress and other agencies appreciated the idea, but were cautious about the expenses.

Meanwhile, the Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) is conducting refresher traffic courses for all Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) bus drivers and conductors from July 5th to July 11th. Traffic police personnel will visit each of the 49 BMTC depots, conduct sessions for the staff and encourage responsible behaviour.

Source: Deccan Herald, Indian Express

Read more: Govt seeks public opinion for Brand Bengaluru, but citizens in the dark

Over 1 cr registrations for Gruha Jyothi scheme

On July 6th, the Gruha Jyothi scheme’s consumer registrations crossed one crore, with 1,00,20,163 consumers. The scheme permits state households to avail 200 units of free power. On the very first day, 96,305 consumers had registered.

The one crore mark was crossed nearly two weeks after the government invited applications. It does not have any deadline and eligible beneficiaries can apply anytime, said the energy department. But only those who apply before July 25th will receive upto 200 units of free electricity for the month.

Registrations can be done at Bangalore One, Grama One, Karnataka One offices, or online via Seva Sindhu portal.

Source: The Hindu, Deccan Herald

Over Rs 22 lakh collected for BTP from violators

Just one day following the extension of the traffic fine rebate period till September 9th, Bengaluru Traffic Police collected Rs 22,49,600, clearing 7,216 cases of violations.

Cunningham road, bengaluru
Traffic snarls and violations are high. Representative image. Pic: Pragathi Ravi

The Karnataka State Legal Services Authority and transport department had permitted, for a third time, a 50% rebate on pending e-challans on traffic violations for cases registered on or before February 11th. Violators had time till September 9th to settle their pending fines under the 50% discount. The BTP collected nearly Rs 140 crore under the 50% rebate scheme.

Source: Deccan Herald, Indian Express

Read more: A citizen’s group in Kanakapura Road is trying to solve commuters’ woes

School of Wheels halted

The BBMP has temporarily halted the Schools on Wheels programme, which seeks to provide education to out-of-school children of slum-dwellers and construction workers. The BMTC buses do not have a fitness certificate, said officials, although the BBMP had invested Rs 4 lakh in each of the 10 buses procured in 2021.

A teacher countered that the programme’s outcome should not be solely determined by admissions. On average, there are 200 regular attendees, said BBMP sources.

Source: Deccan Herald

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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