K’taka BJP leader holds IT cos responsible for floods, says they won’t operate one day in Naxal-prone T’gana
Bengaluru: Karnataka BJP leader N.R. Ramesh on Thursday held IT companies responsible for the floods and crisis situation that has arisen following heavy rains in Bengaluru.
Bengaluru has received 899 mm of rain in the last 3 months. This is the maximum rainfall in the last 50 years. “The companies are threatening the state government that they will have to be shifted to Telangana state. The state of Telangana is known as a Naxal-prone state. The companies and employees will not be able to survive for a day,” Ramesh stated.
Reacting to the warning given by IT companies through organisations that they would shift to Telangana, Ramesh maintained that they won’t be able to operate in the state of Telangana which is Naxal-prone.
Ramesh, BJP President of Bengaluru South, responded to former Infosys director and entrepreneur T.V. Mohandas Pai’s ‘Save Bengaluru’ campaign in an open letter. He slammed Mohandas Pai’s attempt to tarnish the image of Bengaluru during the crisis time by writing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and carrying out a campaign on the flood situation.
“You (Mohan Das Pai) have been carrying out the ‘Save Bengaluru’ campaign for 10 to 15 days, you have written letters to PM Modi and others. A social media campaign is also being undertaken. You have stated that IT and BT companies are contemplating shifting to Telangana state due to floods. During 1999, especially in Mahadevapura, and Bommanahalli zones thousands of corporate companies started operating. The main reason being, Bengaluru was built above 3,000 feet from the sea level scientifically by then ruler Nadaprabhu Kempe Gowda,” he said.
“The other reasons are being the soft, cordial nature of the people of Bengaluru. During 1999 and 2004, for the benefit of IT and BT companies, the government did not collect tax for installation of OFC ducts in 4,500 kilometres of roads,” he said.
The government did not charge for road digging and spent Rs 3,000 crore to provide free services at that time. Mohandas Pai seems to have forgotten about this fact, Ramesh explained.
“We want to bring to your notice that IT and BT companies are also responsible for the flood situation in Bengaluru. By writing a letter to PM Modi, IT companies through their organisations have conducted in such a way that it has proved to be a black mark on the image of the globally recognised city, which is also the only city to be built scientifically,” he said.
“79 tech parks which come under Outer Ring Road Companies Association, more than 250 IT and BT companies under Electronic City Industries Association, more than 100 tech companies in Mahadevapura have encroached storm water drains at the time of construction. Infosys, Wipro, Biocon, Tech Mahindra, Tata Power, Bosch, IBM, TCS, HP and all other companies in the Electronics City have encroached upon storm water drains completely or narrowed them down,” he stated.
“Knowing all these facts well, attempts are made to tarnish the image of the city. To evade tax to BBMP, under the self-declaration of the property tax system, a separate township has been created in the name of the township. The companies are required to pay Rs 300 to Rs 400 crore as property tax. After getting all amenities from government agencies such as BBMP, BWSSB, IT companies have evaded Rs 400 crore tax money,” he opined.
Presently, 3,758 IT companies, 92 BT companies, and 79 tech parks are functioning in Bengaluru. More than Rs 2 lakh crore transaction is being carried out annually. As per CSR rules, the companies should have spent more than Rs 2,500 crore on CSR activities. IT companies have spent a few Rs 10 crore, he alleged.
Do not threaten the government, if IT and BT companies clear their encroachments, there will be a permanent solution to the flooding crisis in Bengaluru. Instead of blackmailing, behave judiciously and responsibly, Ramesh urged.