‘Ashamed to See Roads Dug, Projects Incomplete’- Minister B A Byrathi takes City Officials to Task

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‘Ashamed to See Roads Dug, Projects Incomplete’- Minister B A Byrathi takes City Officials to Task

Mangaluru: Having reached Mangaluru from Bengaluru on Monday 31 January night, State minister for urban development, B A Byrathi Basavaraj, undertook an inspection of various works undertaken in the city under the Smart City project, Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation, Mangaluru Urban Development Authority etc early morning starting at 6.30 am on Tuesday 1 February. He along with Mangaluru City Corporation Commissioner Akshy Sridhar, MCC Mayor Premanand Shetty; Mangaluru Smart City Ltd Managing Director Prashanth K Mishra; Mangalore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) chairman Ravishankar Mijar, Er Arun Prabha-MSCL General Manager (Technical), among others toured the City.

Minister Byrathi visited spots like the Kadri Park area, Hampankatta junction, District Wenlock Hospital Surgical block, Yemmekere swimming pool, Gujjarakere Lake, among other places. He also visited the markets that are being constructed like Kankanady and Kadri. He also toured nearby places to Mangaluru like Ullal, Surathkal among other spots to check on the development works. Following which he had a press meet with media persons at 9.30 am at Hotel Goldfinch, Mangaluru, where he said, “This morning I toured various developmental areas in the City but was disappointed to see roads dug everywhere, and most of the projects started long ago incomplete. The only reason I came down to Mangaluru after getting numerous complaints about the delay in various city projects. I have given a deadline to the concerned authorities in MSCL and MCC to complete all the pending or ongoing projects by March-April 2023. And if they neglect to reach the deadline, further action will be taken, and I will be visiting again soon for yet another inspection”.

Following the press meet Minister B A Byrathi Basavaraj chaired a progress review meeting at the MCC auditorium at 10.30 am, where he took to task concerned officials from various departments of MSCL and MCC, for the slow pace in completing development works under the Smart City project. He also directed the officials to keep the city clean, since he saw piles of garbage all around the City. He also took to task the MCC Health department officials, and the officials in charge of the 24X7 water project, for their negligence and slow work.

The minister said, “I am really disappointed to see the garbage scattered in the city. What are the MCC officials doing in this regard? I will visit again probably next month for yet another review progress meeting. It will be a surprise visit, and if I find that work is not done the right way and delayed, I will see that the officials behind such projects are suspended. This is not a joke for negligence towards ongoing Smart City projects after PM Modi had picked Mangaluru as one of the Smart cities, and we should show good results, and not negative results and complaints from people”. The minister urged the officials and MCC commissioner to speed up with the pending works and see that they are completed soon, before the arrival of the monsoon. He also urged MCC officials to collect advertisement tax, and not allow anyone to advertise for free.

Minister Basavaraj also said, “I have received way too many complaints pertaining to TDR policy. MCC should take the necessary steps to provide TDR to the beneficiaries immediately, without wasting more time. There has been a delay in paying TDR for a decade. Only if TDR is paid in time, more people will come forward to hand over their land for developmental works with no hassles.”

Also speaking on the occasion, MCC Commissioner Akshy Shridhar briefed about the works in progress under the Mahatma Gandhi Vikas Yojana, SFC special funds, 15th finance commission, and many other projects along with MSCL developmental projects. Mangaluru North MLA Dr Bharath Y Shetty urged the minister to take a decision over giving policing powers to the corporation similar to the forest department. Dr Shetty added, saying that a bunch of street vendors are violating the rules and without the policing powers to the corporation, action cannot be taken against them.

Explaining about the right way a Smart City should function or projects implemented, MLC Manjunath Bhandary pointed out that under the Smart City project focus is needed on developing fishing activity and the old port which will attract more investors. He said that doing this will increase employment and revenue generation. “Smart City project’s main objective is to reduce the pressure from the commercial cities. It is not just about developing roads and drainage,” added Bhandary. In response Minister B A Byrathi Basavaraj said, “In all, Rs 200 crore has been allotted for the waterfront development which also includes the development of fishing and old port.”

DK Deputy Commissioner Dr K V Rajendra, MCC Mayor Premananda Shetty, Deputy Mayor, MT Reju -the Managing Director, Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation, Mangaluru Smart City Ltd Managing Director Prashanth K Mishra; Mangalore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) chairman Ravishanker Mijar, among others were present.

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