Karnataka’s development blueprint for 2020 ready: Yeddyurappa

August 15th, 2008 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Bangalore, Aug 15 (IANS) The first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in southern India has drawn a comprehensive development blueprint to transform Karnataka into a model state by 2020, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said here Friday. Addressing a huge gathering to mark the 62nd Independence Day celebrations, Yeddyurappa said the blueprint was aimed at removing regional imbalance in the state and ensure equitable development.

“Karnataka was hailed as a progressive state not long ago. Over the last couple of years, the state has slipped to seventh position on the development index. To bring the state to the forefront, a Karnataka 2020 development blueprint has been drawn and will be made public soon,” the chief minister said at the Manekshaw parade ground after unfurling the tricolour.

In the wake of the July 25 serial blasts in Bangalore, Yeddiyurappa said the Karnataka Organised Crime Control Act (KOCCA) would be modified to pre-empt terror acts, ensure the safety and security of people and their property across the state.

“We have initiated a number of measures to strengthen the police force. A sum of Rs 1.22 billion has been released this fiscal (2008-09) to purchase vehicles, improve infrastructure, including IT deployment and other amenities for achieving efficiency,” Yeddyurappa said in his 30-minute speech in Kannada from a prepared text.

The state government will fill the 8,581 vacant posts in the police department across the state by recruiting 3,420 constables, 605 women constables and 3,858 assistant constables this year, he declared.

Reiterating several measures he had announced in the state budget for 2008-09 last month, Yeddyurappa said the state government would contribute 50 percent of the funds required for improving and expanding the infrastructure of Bangalore during the 11th plan.

“I have appealed to the planning commission and the central government to grant funds for the infrastructure development of Bangalore, which is estimated to cost about Rs.170 billion over the next five years,” he said.

A high-speed rail express between the international airport and the city, elevated highways, satellite townships and a metro are some of the projects the chief minister mentioned to highlight his government’s priority to improve the city’s infrastructure.

Yeddyurappa promised to hold elections to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palika (BBMP) and proposed the new mayor would be elected directly with five-year term instead of one year.

Defending his government’s decision to provide free power to irrigation pump-sets of farmers, the chief minister said farmers deserved encouragement to grow more crops with higher yields for achieving food security and enhancing the farm sector share to the state GDP (gross domestic product).

“We are committed to agriculture, including dry land development and promotion of organic farming to lessen the crisis arising out of the fertiliser shortage this season. With the central government failing to meet the demand, the state will purchase fertilisers valued at Rs.1.5 billion in the open market and distribute to the needy farmers,” Yeddyurappa said.

To encourage use of organic farming extensively, the state government has decided to release Rs.2,000 each to 100 families in 1,000 villages across the state.

According to reports from other parts of the state, Independence Day was celebrated with traditional gaiety and pomp in all the 29 districts, with a flag hoisting ceremony, a march past by the police and cultural programmes.

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