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City debt stands at 14K crores!

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Infrastructure

The city's civic agencies thrive on borrowing.Outstanding loans borrowed by different civic agencies, including the BBMP, BDA, BMRCL, BWSSB and Bescom, for various projects add up to a staggering Rs 14,193 crore.

Urban experts and economists say debt per se is not wrong but civic agencies shouldn't indulge in borrowing beyond their capabilities. Huge debts will cripple their ability to borrow and raise funds in future, they say.

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I beg to differ with the various 'experts' who have commented in this article. Yes its a huge number for any city but the real problem is not in the spend but in selecting the projects that needs to be executed. There is absolutely no public consultation in doing this and they end up spending/pilfering money on projects which are unwanted in the first place itself!

For example, BWSSB is digging up most of city roads to lay new steel water pipes and change the connections till the water meter for every individual homes. They are calling it 'leakage prevention project'..I will take the example of the street where I live in..there were already 2 steel pipes (6 inches) running below and carrying bwssb water..with this project they keep that burried and lay another pipe 3 feet below the surface and connect it to individual houses with plastic pipes instead of the GI ones which were earlier used..costs involved are:

  • Digging of road
  • laying steel pipes
  • dig for individual home connections 
  • lay plastic pipes for connections
  • relay the road

L&T is as usual doing a good job of it but I am sure all of this involves huge costs..so one question comes to mind is how did they start on this project:

  • Do they know the leakage of water ward wise?
  • Dont they plan to re-use/salvage the old pipes?
  • Are the new plastic pipes for the last metre connectivity safe enough..btw I dont trust the glue they use to fasten(no threads) the joints..

etc..there are many many unanswered questions which makes the common man believe that there are kickbacks involved and thats the reason the project is being done!

Now BBMP wants the atrocious bill Akrama-Sakrama to be passed just to make sure they are able to pay back their loans? So its like doing more wrongs to correct wrongs!

Among all this, one thing that comes out clear is the lack of clarity in the functioning of agencies and the hyper greed mode the pubic is in..hypocitical as always where they also go shouting slogans for Anna!

Comments

murali772's picture

Delhi lessons still to be learnt

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There is absolutely no public consultation in doing this and they end up spending/pilfering money on projects which are unwanted in the first place itself!

The idea of PRAJA was to provide a platform for public consultations without the need for too many physical meets. But, the very fact that not many public servants are ready to come on to Praja, shows that they prefer to remain non-transparent, the reasons being obvious.

The lessons from Delhi elections are apparently still to be learnt.

Muralidhar Rao

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