Minister Khader promises BRTS service on Hubballi-Dharwad Road launch on Nov 1
- ‘Action against officials, contractor if deadline missed again’
Hubballi: Giving November 1 as the new deadline for the launch of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) service on Hubballi-Dharwad Road, Urban Development Minister U T Khader said, “people can hold me accountable if the deadline is not met this time, and I will hold the officials concerned accountable.”
Action will be taken against KRDCL officials, and contractor will be blacklisted, if the project is not ready for the launch on November 1 on the occasion of Karnataka Rajyotsava, he added.
Inspecting the BRTS depot, inter-change bus terminal, control room, BRTS corridor and bus stations, and also travelling in the ‘Chigari’ bus, during his maiden visit to the City as the urban development minister, Khader collected information from the Hubballi-Dharwad BRTS Company Limited officials, regarding the implementation and functioning of Rs 900 crore project.
Later, he told told media persons that the BRTS would be a model public transport system in the entire country, and officials have promised to launch it on November 1.
Admitting that the BRTS implementation was delayed due to issues related to land acquisition and other problems, the minister noted that the focus now is to complete the implementation and launch the service, as changes required in the design should have been discussed by the local people’s representatives earlier itself.
When the problem related to acquiring the land belonging to a religious structure at Bhairidevarakoppa was brought to his notice, Khader stated that it is a local problem. If it cannot be solved at the local level, the government would intervene, and would ensure that the project is implemented within the deadline, he said.
At the BRTS intelligent transport system (ITS) control room at Hosur inter-change bus terminal premises, the minister was informed that all BRTS buses and NWKRTC’s City buses fitted with GPS device can be monitored from the centre.
Each bus station of the BRTS would have 380 degree camera, while a total of 160 cameras would be on the BRTS corridor. Visuals can be watched from the control room itself, the officials said.
Khader suggested to have ‘Smart City’ project’s control room also near the BRTS control room, so that better synchronisation can be achieved.
He also gave instructions to grow palm trees on the BRTS median and to do good landscaping. Bus fare should be similar to that of the fare of existing city buses moving on Hubballi-Dharwad Road, he added.
Operation & Maintenance
The BRTS officials informed the minister that operations & maintenance of BRTS has to be handed over to the NWKRTC as per the earlier agreement.
As the NWKRTC is not showing interest for this, as it is already under loss and BRTS would be an additional burden, there is a plan to form a separate corporation or division under the NWKRTC, clubbing BRTS and city division of the NWKRTC, they added. Khader noted that the Transport Department would take a decision in this regard.
Khader also suggested to construct commercial complex at BRTS terminal area, to get additional revenue.
MLA Prasad Abbayya, Congress Party leader Sadanand Danganavar, and others were present.
Minister suggests bike-cycle track on ‘smart road’
Hubballi: Urban Development Minister U T Khader instructed Hubballi-Dharwad Smart City Limited (HDSCL) officials to plan tracks for bicycles and motor bikes on the smart roads proposed to be developed under the ‘Smart City’ project, instead of only bicycle track.
“If you develop only bicycle track, only the company which gives bicycles on hire will get profit, and public cannot move on their own bicycles on that track. Instead, develop a track for both bicycle and motor bikes of the public,” Khader told officials.
Inspecting the Gokul Road in the City on Wednesday, which would be developed as a ‘smart road’, the minister gave instructions to develop proper footpath above the duct, and to increase the width of the cement concrete road, considering the availability of space. He also collected information about smart poles and other elements of the project.
When asked about the rationale behind the priority of works being planned under ‘Smart City’ projects and the need to develop roads which are in damaged condition, Khader asked Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) Commissioner C W Shakeel Ahmed, who is also the managing director of the HDSCL, to have a re-look into pumping in funds to further develop Indira Glass House park and other places that were earlier developed but now in poor state due to lack of proper maintenance.
Tender process for all ‘Smart City’ works should be completed in three months, and works should begin at the earliest, he directed.
Inspecting Tolanakere (tank) which is also proposed to be under ‘Smart City’ project, the minister asked the officials to install nets above the water at some places where garbage is being thrown into the tank.
On water supply
Khadher noted that the government would approve the HDMC’s Rs 24 crore proposal to increase pumping of water from Malaprabha reservoir, to improve water supply situation in the twin cities.
The implementation of third phase of 24X7 water supply project has not begun due to objection raised by the contractor, and therefore, re-tendering would be done, he said.
However, it is difficult to release around Rs 100 crore pending pension grants to the HDMC, as the HDMC itself did not demand that grant initially. But, we will try, he assured.
Indira Canteens would be started within 15 days. The issue of contract pourakarmikas would also be solved. Reservation for wards of municipal corporations would be notified in a couple of days.
The issue related to forming ward committees in municipal corporations would also be attended to, Khader said.
Khader, who is also the housing minister, noted that 62,000 houses would be constructed in the State, including 22,000 houses in North Karnataka region.
After attending the new court complex inauguration in Hubballi on August 12, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy would inaugurate this housing scheme in Hubballi itself, Khader added.
“We are bringing drastic changes in the functioning style of urban development authorities. E-governance and other modern technology would be adapted, and the department would have single window system for clearances,” he said.
Revised CDP for the twin cities would also be discussed and approved. A solution would be found for the problem of water hyacinth covering Unkal Lake, he noted.
Earlier, the minister held meeting with MLA Prasad Abbayya, Mayor Sudhir Saraf, Deputy Mayor Menaka Hurali, HDMC Commissioner C W Shakeel Ahmed, and
‘Separate State call is treachery’
Urban Development Minister U T Khader stated that demanding for separate State is an act of treachery.
“There will be no use in dividing the State. We have a united State, and we are in favour of maintaining that unity,” he added.