- The Bengaluru suburban railway project received a boost on Wednesday as the Cabinet approved investing 20% of the total project cost — Rs. 1,745 crore — over the next two years.
- The State’s equity in the project that would come to about Rs. 349 crore will be allocated over two financial years. 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra said, at the post Cabinet briefing on Wednesday. Following the agreement between the State and Indian Railways, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be formed to raise the remaining amount to implement the project.
- The project — to be completed in three years after the work commences — will have 58 trains and 116 services to towns around Bengaluru
- The project involves a total of 440 km
- During his recent visit, Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal said the project would be taken to its ‘logical conclusion’ if the State government provided 5 Floor Space Index under the Transit Oriented Development, so that Bengaluru’s suburban network could be completed with a 50% share from the State government and the rest from the Railways.
- The State government had made the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) a nodal agency for monitoring and supervision of the suburban rail project. It will also initiate the establishment of the SPV.
- The State Cabinet has also cleared the Home Department’s proposal to upgrade 363 signals to Vehicle Actuated Traffic Signal (VATS).
- The traffic police have also proposed that 100 traffic signals in the city manage increased traffic. This project will cost Rs. 85.34 crore.
30% bonanza for State employees
- In a big bonus for 5.2 lakh State government employees and 5.73 lakh pensioners ahead of the polls, the 6th Pay Commission has suggested a 30% hike in salaries.
- The additional expenditure to the State government owing to revision of pay, allowances and pension is estimated to be Rs. 10,508 crore per year.
- The commission’s report was submitted to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday by chairperson and former IAS officer M.R. Srinivasmurthy.
- As per the report, the minimum pay under the revised pay scale will be Rs. 17,000 and maximum is pegged at Rs. 1,50,600, besides allowances.
- After the revision, the minimum pension will be Rs. 8,500 per month, while the maximum will be Rs. 75,300 per month, plus Dearness Allowance (DA). Family pension will have an upper limit of Rs. 45,180 per month, plus DA.
- The revised pay and pension will be effective from July 1, 2017.
- A note from the Chief Minister’s office said the commission’s recommendation will benefit about 73,000 employees of aided institutions, local bodies and non-teaching staff of colleges and universities in the State. The commission has recommended continuation of the present age of retirement of government employees at 60 years.
- The commission has been working on preparing the report since June 2017, after it was announced in the 2017-18 Budget by Mr. Siddaramaiah, who holds the finance portfolio.
- Besides Mr. Srinivasmurthy, the commission has former IAS officer Mohammed Sanaullah and former Controller of State Accounts Department R.S. Phonde as its members.