Karnataka Budget 2024: Bengaluru and beyond set for massive development surge

On the face of it, the budget aims to bolster agricultural and horticultural sectors, enhance healthcare accessibility, and promote tourism, among other things.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Feb 17, 2024 | 7:00 AMUpdatedFeb 17, 2024 | 6:15 PM

Karnataka Budget 2024: Bengaluru and beyond set for massive development surge

In the budget unveiled by the Congress government for the fiscal year 2024-25, Karnataka emerged as a state poised for comprehensive development, with a notable emphasis on both its vibrant capital city Bengaluru, and the rest of its tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

Under the initiative of “Brand Bengaluru”, the bustling metropolis is set to undergo a transformative journey marked by ambitious projects spanning various sectors announced by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday, 16 February.

These initiatives aimed to bolster critical infrastructure, tackle traffic congestion, ensure clean drinking water access, and enhance healthcare and educational facilities.

Concurrently, the budget allocated significant resources towards elevating the entirety of Karnataka through a myriad of development initiatives tailored to the unique needs of its tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

From bolstering agricultural and horticultural sectors to enhancing healthcare accessibility and promoting tourism, the budget emphasised the government’s commitment to fostering inclusive growth and prosperity across the state.

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‘Brand Bengaluru’

In the budget announcement for the fiscal year 2024-25 under the Congress government, Bengaluru was awarded several projects and grants aimed at significant transformation and development.

One is an initiative termed Brand Bengaluru, said to symbolise a comprehensive strategy to elevate the city into a world-class urban centre.

Marked by a series of ambitious projects and reforms spanning various sectors, the plan outlines a roadmap aimed at enhancing the quality of life for its residents while fostering an environment conducive to investment and economic growth.

To tackle the perennial issue of traffic congestion and improve connectivity, substantial investments have been earmarked for the construction of high-quality roads and the expansion of public transport networks.

Notably, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is set to receive a significant boost with the addition of 1,334 new electric buses and 820 BS-6 diesel buses.

Furthermore, the provision of clean drinking water was prioritised with the operationalisation of the Cauvery Phase-5 project, an endeavour projected to benefit 12 lakh people by supplying 110 litres of drinking water to each person daily. This vital initiative has an estimated cost of ₹5,550 crore.

In a bid to stimulate agricultural growth and promote value addition, the establishment of food parks near airports under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode is expected to boost the processing and export of agricultural and horticultural produce.

With a food park slated to come up at Bengaluru’s Pujenahalli village, the government aims to harness the state’s agricultural potential while fostering entrepreneurship and job creation.

Moreover, significant investments have been allocated towards healthcare infrastructure, illustrated by the development of a mother-and-child building at KC General Hospital in Bengaluru. With an investment of ₹150 crore, this initiative aims to enhance healthcare accessibility and quality, particularly for vulnerable populations.

A total of ₹20 crore will be provided in the next two years to set up 430 laboratories in the hub-and-spoke model to provide affordable and qualitative laboratory service to the people of Bengaluru city.

Education and research also feature prominently in the government’s agenda, as evidenced by the establishment of a Knowledge, Health Care, Innovation, and Research (KHIR) City across 2,000 acres near Bengaluru.

Envisioned as a hub for knowledge exchange and innovation, this project is expected to attract ₹40,000 crore in investment and generate employment opportunities for approximately 80,000 individuals.

Internationally renowned architects have been invited to prepare a novel design for a 250-metre-high skydeck in Bengaluru as a landmark tourist destination in the city.

The government plans the establishment of a Science City in Bengaluru in collaboration with the Central government at an estimated cost of ₹233 crore.

The government also plans to set up a Sports City with modern facilities and international standards over 70 acres in Bengaluru North under the PPP model. An astroturf hockey ground will be constructed at Police Sulivan Playground in Bengaluru at a cost of ₹3 crore.

On announcing more funds to Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah told reporters on Friday: “We have not given more funds but announced more programmes to Bengaluru. What they (the BJP) had neglected for Bengaluru, we are developing under the concept of Brand Bengaluru.”

He added: “Over 1.5 crore people dwell in Bengaluru City. Shouldn’t we provide basic amenities to the people? The government has given grants for other regions as well.”

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Projects for rest of Karnataka

Siddaramaiah has announced sea of projects aimed at the overall development of tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

In a bid to bolster the agricultural and horticultural sectors, the government plans to establish food parks near airports through PPPs.

Two such parks are slated for establishment in the current fiscal year: Sogane in the Shivamogga district and Ittangihala in the Vijayapura District.

Additionally, a Spice Park is set to be developed in the Chikkamagaluru district to promote spice cultivation and exports.

The Vijayapura district, renowned for its horticultural prowess, is slated to see the establishment of a College of Horticulture Sciences at Alamela. This move aims to further nurture the growth of horticulture in the region.

Moreover, Ramanagara and Sidlaghatta, known for their significance in cocoon-trading, are apparently poised for transformation into hi-tech markets with an initial allocation of ₹150 crore. Phase-2 of this endeavour is expected to follow with a budget of ₹250 crore.

The fisheries sector also stands to benefit significantly from the budget allocations. Plans include the establishment of a fisheries research centre at Manki or Kasarkod in the Honnavar taluka, a modern fish market at Bhadravathi, and the creation of aqua parks.

Additionally, a well-equipped fishing harbour is set to be constructed at Murudeshwar in Bhatkal Taluk.

Further, a new Inland Fisheries Skill Development Centre will be established at Almatti in the Vijayapur district.

A sum of ₹6 crore has been earmarked to promote fisheries in the mining-affected areas of Chitradurga, Holalkere, and Hosadurga talukas.

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More for the agrarian community

Cold storage facilities are also on the agenda to ensure better preservation of agricultural produce. A total of ₹50 crore has been allocated to set up cold storages in the APMC markets of Yelburga, Basavana Bagewadi, Ranebennur, Ballari, and Gadag.

Additionally, cold storage units will be established in Raichur and Mysuru, each receiving ₹40 crore for the purpose.

With an aim to provide better marketing facilities, a dry chilli market will be established in Raichur at an estimated cost of ₹25 crore.

Another chilli market will be started in Ranebennur in the new megamarket that has been developed at a cost of ₹112 crore over 222 acres.

Investments have also been earmarked to address water management and irrigation needs. The Krisha Bhagya Jala Nigam lift irrigation schemes are slated for implementation across various districts, including Bagalkote, Vijayapura, and Yadgir, with a total outlay of ₹3,779 crore, aiming to create irrigation potential for about 1.1 lakh hectares of land.

Furthermore, schemes for tank fillings in the Yelaburga-Kukanuru taluka of the Koppal district and irrigation facilities in the Maski taluka of the Raichur district are set to commence, with budgets of ₹970 crore and ₹990 crore, respectively.

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Health and education allocations

The healthcare sector was not ignored in the budget allocations, with provisions for critical-care blocks in each district, construction of taluka hospitals, and establishment of Primary Health Centres (PHCs).

The construction of critical-care blocks in districts such as Udupi, Davanagere, Vijayapur, Mysuru, Mandya, Dharwad, and Koppal was underway with a budget of ₹187 crore.

Additionally, 100-bedded taluka hospitals would be constructed in several talukas, with a total allocation of ₹280 crore.

Furthermore, 46 new PHCs would be established through the Kalyana Karnataka Region Development Board with a budget of ₹221 crore.

In terms of skill development and education, skill academies, multi-skill development centres, and new constituent colleges of universities have been announced in the budget.

The Karnataka Innovation of Technology Solutions (KITS), in collaboration with the Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Limited, is expected to establish skilling and innovation centers in emerging technologies across Kalaburagi, Shivamogga, Hubballi, and Tumakuru with a budget of ₹12 crore.

A skill academy in Sanduru in the Ballari district is set to be established at a cost of ₹300 crore, while Government Tool Room and Training Centre (GTTC) Multi-Skill Development Centres will be established in various districts with a budget of ₹350 crore.

New GTTCs are also expected to be set up in the Ballari, Gadag, and Chitradurga districts with a budget of ₹150 crore.

Additionally, a centre of excellence focusing on Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology will be established in Kalaburagi with an allocation of ₹16 crore.

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Infrastructure allocations

Infrastructure development initiatives such as road construction, tourism promotion, and eco-tourism projects feature prominently in the budget allocations.

Under the Kalyana Patha scheme, 1,150 km of roads will be developed at a cost of ₹1,000 crore.

New textile parks will be constructed in the Kittur Karnataka, Kalyana Karnataka (Raichur), and Mysuru regions under PPP. It is expected to create 10,000 jobs in the coming years.

In a bid to boost the jeans industry, a common facility centre and jeans apparel park with basic infrastructure will be set up in Ballari.

The Anjanadri hill and surrounding areas of the Koppal district hold mythological and historical importance. ₹100 crore will be provided to develop tourism in these areas.

With an aim to conserve the ancient monuments, the ancient water supply system popularly known as karez in the Bidar and Vijayapura districts will be revived at a total grant of ₹15 crore.

In order to promote eco-tourism in the state, interpretation centres will be established at Bandipur, Dandeli, and Kabini by Jungle Lodges and Resorts at a cost of ₹25 crore.

Eco-tourism will be promoted in Kappatagudda in the Gadag district.

Meanwhile, high-security prison will be constructed in Shivamogga district at a cost of ₹100 crore.

Automated driving test tracks will be constructed at Udupi, Chikkaballapur, Nelamangala, Madikeri, Madhugiri, and Hunasuru at an estimated cost of ₹36 crore.

Seizing yards will be set up at Devanahalli and Tumakuru at a total cost of ₹10 crore.

On the development of Kalyana Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said: “We came to power only in May. The action plan was delayed. Around ₹1,500 crore has been spent. We have also released the grants. We will try to spend more next fiscal year.”