The change of guard at the Vidhana Soudha in Karnataka is being viewed with a certain degree of hope. Industry is looking forward to working with the new government to accelerate the progress Karnataka, specifically Bangalore, has made in the recent past.
Infrastructure gave Dharam Singh plenty of nightmare during his 20-month tenure as chief minister of Karnataka. This will undoubtedly be topping the agenda of HD Kumaraswamy, who will take over as chief minister on February 3.
Business leaders from a cross-section of industry have said that the new chief minister should not allow the momentum to slacken on developing infrastructure in Bangalore.
"As a priority, the new government must take up infrastructure development work, like the speedy completion of flyovers and the upgrade of the airport, on a war-footing. Accelerating projects like the new airport and the mass transportation system, and ensuring availability of stable power for all, are some of the areas that will help facilitate business growth and reinforce Bangalore's reputation as a key global destination," said Ravi Uppal, vice-chairman and managing director, ABB India said.
Kumaraswamy no doubt will have his hands full as he takes charge of the state. Improving the condition of roads, getting the metro rail project for Bangalore off the ground, ensuring power for the state if monsoon fails and governance are issues he will have to deal with from day one.
A CII spokesperson noted that no matter which political party came to power, industry would work closely with the government to push for the growth of the state's economy.
Industry leaders were of the opinion that with proper attention and upkeep, the existing infrastructure had a lot more to provide.
Said Anant Koppar, president, Bangalore Chamber of Industries and commerce, "We wish the new government all the success. The chamber has been insisting for the development of local infrastructure. We would like the new government to draw attention and advise civic bodies to focus on the maintenance of city infrastructure, which is highly neglected, especially the roads."
"The new projects that have been initiated, such as the international airport and metro rail, should be speeded up and it should be ensured that they become operational on schedule. This will reduce the challenges the state will face in the future," Koppar said.
"From a manufacturing perspective, we must uplift our industrial estates and proactively formulate policies to promote investment across the state," added Uppal.
Industry leaders also expect the new government to work for progress and for the needs of next-generation Indians.Mysore, Managalore, Hubli and Dharwad have immense potential and the new government, along with all the stakeholders, should build world-class infrastructure to attract business and thus provide opportunities for the local community, they noted.