Haven’t you seen asphalting going on in super-speed recently in your area? Haven’t most of the roads been improved recently? So far we were all neglected – now the public good is seen as supreme. Why – oh, why? No prizes for guessing – the election season is here!
Announcement of the Model Code of Conduct by the Election Commission means that new welfare and populist schemes cannot be announced by the governments during this period. It does not mean a full stop in the work that a government does. Political parties that haven’t done anything through out the period when they were in power spring into action just before elections. They truly believe public memory is short and cram in all sops and announcements into the few weeks before elections.
The last fortnight must have been the most hectic for our politicians, the CM, MLAs, MPs and corporators. If it was not an inauguration or flagging off, it was a stone laying or symbolically handing over title deeds to homes. This must have been the case in the whole country. If there is a ‘development announcement quotient,’ it would have seen its peak now. The last burst of activity for CM Siddaramaiah before the Model Code of Conduct was announced was laying the foundation stone for a Rs 1,450 crore rail coach factory in Srinivasapur, Kolar.
The inauguration of the Hosakote corridor Big Trunk feeder services by Union Minister Veerappa Moily got preponed a few hours earlier in order to beat the MCC announcement that happened around 10.30 on March 5th, 2014. Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy was also present. The CM also signed a GO to set up a ‘Vision Group’ for the city that will work along with service providers to improve services in the city, just before the Model Code of Conduct was announced.
The day before the MCC was announced, the CM cleared investment proposals worth Rs 13,770 crores expected to create 44,000 jobs. Earlier in the day Minister Roshan Baig inaugurated Chamundi Preview Theatre and stated that government will protect all players in the film industry and that his doors were always open to them.
March 3rd was by far the busiest day for our CM Siddaramaiah. He inaugurated a 150-unit housing complex for the poor in Nageshwara Nagenahalli and Seegehalli in K R Puram and Vinobha Nagar in Kadugondanahalli under the JNNURM and symbolically handed over deeds to some beneficiaries and said his government is working towards making Karnataka a slum free state. He also launched development works in KR Puram.
At Byataguntepalya in Sarvagnanagar assembly constituency, a park and a playground developed by BDA at a cost of 52 Lakhs. The playground and the park are at two ends of a road. Local MLA and Minister K J George was also present. A dialysis centre built by BBMP at the cost of 2 crore in Vinobhanagar was inaugurated.
Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy launched the country’s first electric bus in the city. This bus will operate on a trial basis for three months and ply between Kempegowda bus depot and Kadugodi.
In Malleshwaram, on March 1st, accompanied by the local MLA and Union Minister Kharge, the CM distributed token amount to pourakarmikas and held a conference to spread awareness on street vendor issues.
The extension of nightlife in the city to 1 am on weekends on an experimental basis is also seen as an election gimmick by many, though it is unclear if it is the citizens or the restaurant lobby the carrot was offered to.
Time of the day has no bearing on inaugurations and announcements that have to be completed. On February 28th, the much awaited Metro line between Peenya and Sampige Road was flagged off at 9.00 pm, three hours after the scheduled time. After this function the CM and dignitaries that included a Union Minister, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Bureaucrats and Councillors proceeded to the Rs. 26,405 crore Namma Metro Phase 2 stone-laying ceremony that began at 10.00 pm. From next day, the Metro line became open to public.
Minister of State for Food and Civic Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao announced on February 26th that the state plans to open subsidised canteens that offer good quality hygienic food for everyone, on a pilot basis in Bangalore.
On 22nd February, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy inaugurated the Big Trunk and Feeder services at Kagglipura Bus Stand. MLA S T Somashekar, MP D B Chandregowda, MLCs Ramachandra Gowda, Dayananda and Puttanna along with BMTC officials were present on this occasion.
22nd February also witnessed the KPCC Professionals Cell organised Cubbon Park Stakeholder’s Conclave to save the Lung-space of Bangalore and also to inaugurate a cycle stand. Five Ministers, one MLA, two party big wigs and a couple of candidate hopefuls we the chief guests.
Earlier in February, the CM accompanied by Ministers Ramalinga Reddy and K J George, launched two flyovers and an underpass on the Hebbal Outer RIng Road. He said 120 km of road work was done and another 280 would be done by the end of March. He also announced the government proposal to develop 33 acres of forest land near Hennur Lake into a biological park.
He also laid foundation stones for the realignment and upgradation of ORR and construction of underpass on Tumkur Road between Goraguntepalya Junction and Kanteerva Studio Junction (Rs 125.39 crore), realignment and upgradation of ORR and construction of an elevated road to cross Yeshwantpur-Tumkur railway line from ALSIDA to BEL underpass (Rs 191.45 crore) and Upgradation of ORR from Nayandahalli Junction to Central Silk Board via Gorguntepalya, Nagavara, and Whitefield, to make it completely signal free (Rs 61 crore). Similarly roads in almost every area have been asphalted, some roads even when not in the list.