Taken all measures to waive off farmer loans: K’taka CM Kumaraswamy

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In a media interaction, the Karnataka Chief Minister spoke about several prominent issues and initiatives.

Bangalore Ring-road Map

To ensure hassle-free commuting in Bengaluru, Karnataka State government has decided to take up construction of the peripheral ring road (PRR).

“It will be coalition government’s gift to the people of Bengaluru who are finding it tough to commute from one destination to the other in the city. I am confident of completing this project with the cooperation of Deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwara who is Bengaluru in-charge minister,” Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said during an interaction programme organised by the Press Club and Bengaluru Reporters’ Guild here on Tuesday.

Interestingly, this project was first envisaged by Kumaraswamy in 2006 when he was chief minister heading the JD(S)-BJP coalition.

“The project found mention in subsequent budgets announced by different chief ministers, but failed to take off.”

“The project was pending for 12 years. Now, I want to take up this project which is aimed at benefiting lakhs of commuters in Bengaluru. The government will release Rs 2,000 crore as a first installment for this project and Rs 4,500 crore during the next year. Tenders will be floated to complete all the formalities and commence the work next month. The PRR will have the provision for constructing metro rail lines,” the chief minister said.

He said that discussions were held whether 102-km elevated road corridors are needed for the city. “A detailed report of how the elevated road corridors will help the commuters in the city will be presented to the public. It is expected that elevated road corridors to help the public save Rs 9,000 crore per year in the city. The commuters and motorists not only save time but also fuel,” he said, adding that the project is expected to reduce pollution in the city.

“I have directed the officials to take all measures to prevent demolition of private buildings for the construction of elevated road corridors. I have even suggested them to find alternative routes to avoid demolition of buildings for this project,” he said.

LED lights project

The chief minister said the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has been paying Rs 100 crore to the Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) for electrifying streetlights in the city.

“A private company has come forward to take up LED street lights project. A final decision will be taken up in the next Cabinet meeting,” Kumaraswamy said.

Expressing anguish and disappointment over the BBMP’s failure in clearing garbage in the city, the chief minister said that he feels ashamed whenever he comes across mounds of garbage on the roads in the city. “I have already directed the authorities concerned to ensure city free from garbage,” he said.

Farmers’ loans

The chief minister said the state government has taken all measures to waive off farmers’ loans as promised in the State Budget. “There is no cash crunch to provide finance for waiving off agricultural loans. I am holding meetings with nationalised banks for this purpose. I will send loan-free letters to 44 lakh farmers in the state from November 1. The government is mulling over waiving education loans,” he said.

Temple run

Taking a dig on BJP leaders for criticising his temple visits, the chief minister said that he used to visit temples even before becoming chief minister.

“Our family is known for devotion and visiting temples. I am not neglecting the administration while visiting the temples,” he countered.

On complaints of lack of punctuality, the chief minister said that he could not maintain punctuality due to pressure of meeting common people. “I am not attending meetings late without any reason,” he said.