The new regime in Karnataka is awaited with hope and expectation in the state capital Bangalore. Congestion, traffic jams, garbage and pollution have begun to afflict the garden city known for its salubrious climate while its entrepreneurs and industrialists experienced unfriendly and confrontationist attitude from the JD (S) leader HD Deve Gowda. With the election results giving a clear verdict against JD(S) and giving BJP a near-majority, the chief minister designate BS Yeddyurappa, busy with hectic parleys before meeting the Governor to stake claim to form government, condescended to give an exclusive interview to BOGASE.WORDPRESS.COM / bogase.blogspot.com and speak of his plans for the city.
*:. Bangalore has come out strongly in favour of BJP, the city giving you 17 out of 28 seats. How do you plan to return the favour?
Yeddyurappa: Bangalore is in a mess. Urgent steps are needed to improve its infrastructure. There is also need to pay attention to the problems relating to civic amenities, pollution and garbage management and disposal which have worsened over the years. In fact improving garbage management and public transport system in Bangalore will be our top priority. We will Bangalore the model city of India.
*: The traffic has become really nightmarish.
BSY: We will have a special task force to deal with the traffic and transport problems worrying the people of Bangalore. Improving the public transport system in the city will be our top priority. We will also have a Metropolitan Planning Council to plan with vision and monitor the city’s development. And the Council will also have representatives from the industry. As finance minister, I have already prepared an industrial policy to promote industry.
*: There have been some problems and controversies relating to the new international airport in Bangalore, and also about the land deals and alleged scams, some involving your political rivals as well.
BSY: (Sidestepping the part about land deals) We will take the appropriate decision in the meeting of cabinet, when we form it. We will recommend to the central government to have both airports for the city.
(Phone rings. BSY listens, nods, asks ‘who, Jaitley ji’ and cuts off with ‘ok, in one minute’)
*: What are your developmental plans for Bangalore and the state?
BSY: We will provide all necessary support to industry. Our aim is to promote industry in different regions of the state to bring about a balanced development.
For this, we will promote industry and development of two-tier cities like Hubli, Dharwad, Mysore etc instead of simply focusing on just Bangalore. We have earlier given clearance for five airports in Karnataka in Gulbarga, Shimoga, Bijaipur, Hassan and Mysore. Work has begun on two of them.
(Phone rings again. BSY listens and gets up: Ok now, please excuse me. I have to go to meet Arun Jaitley ji.)