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French aid for Bengaluru Metro: Rs 1,504 crore as soft loan

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www.afd.fr

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Bengaluru: In a bid to speed up the already delayed sate-run Bengaluru Metro rail project, a French development agency on Friday announced 200-million euro (Rs1,504 crore) as soft loan for its second phase.

Financing the Metro rail project was part of the credit facility agreement Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) signed with the Indian government in New Delhi on September 3.

www.afd.fr
www.afd.fr

Paris-based AFD is a public development finance institution, which implements the French government’s policies and supports projects that improve living conditions, boost economic growth and protect the planet through a network of 71 agencies the world over.

“The new funding is in addition to the 110-million euros we gave in 2012 for the project’s first phase,” AFD regional director (South Asia) Nicolas Fornage told reporters after signing an agreement with Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) managing director Pradeep Singh Kharola here.

The second phase project, estimated to cost a whopping Rs 26,405 crore at the 2011-12 price level for extending the 42 km first phase by an additional 72 km, was approved by the previous (UPA-2) government on January 30, 2014.

According to Kharola, the loan repayment will be over 15 years at interest rate linked to Euro inter-bank offered rate.

www.prokerala.com
www.prokerala.com

“The Metro rail project is aimed at improving the public transport system in the city, which has grown rapidly over the last two decades on IT boom and influx of people from all over the country,” Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on the occasion.

Of the estimated cost, the central government would provide Rs 5,281 crore and the state government Rs 8,983 crore, while the remaining amount would be raised through debt from multilateral or bilateral funding agencies like AFD and JICA and Indian financial institutions.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had also contributed to the project’s first phase, while the Asian Development Bank has agreed to grant a $250 million (Rs165 crores) loan for the second phase.

The second phase is expected to be taken up in 2017 after the first phase, which is three years behind schedule, with its cost escalating to over Rs 12,000 crore from Rs 8,000 crore in 2008.

As the country’s third biggest city and hub of the new economy, Bengaluru has about one crore denizens, with 55 lakh vehicles and a floating population of 15-20 lakh daily.

“The Metro network across the expanded city will ease traffic congestion, reduce pollution and promote low-carbon mobility,” AFD said in a statement.

French consul-general Francois Gautier was also present on the occasion.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Ancient Chennakesava Temple Completes 900 Years

The ASI hasn't yet responded to the letter regarding the need to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the temple

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The Chennakesava temple turns 900 but no celebration takes place
Chennakesava temple turns 900 year old. Wikimedia
  • Chennakesava temple turns 900 years old this year
  • It was commissioned by the Hoysala king in 1117 CE
  • ASI hasn’t responded to the letter regarding the need to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the temple

New Delhi, July 15, 2017: Chennakesava temple, a real masterpiece and a fine example of Karnata-Dravida architecture, had its 900th anniversary this year. The temple completed 900 years of construction on March 10, However, the historic occasion was hardly marked by any celebration.

Vishnuvardhana, the Hoysala king commissioned the Chennakesava temple in 1117 CE. It has been established by the Researchers that the temple was built as a symbol of victory of King Vishnuvardhana. “Soon after winning a war in 1104, Vishnuvardhana took up the construction of the temple, and according to an inscription, the temple was ready by March 1117,” said Srivatsa Vati, a historian and an expert in Hoyasala architecture.

“It was Mr. Vati, who wrote to various departments, including the ASI, reminding them about the temple’s 900th anniversary and stressed the need to commemorate the occasion,” says The Hindu report.

Also read: 13 Beautiful Ancient Temples in India showcase Architectural Brilliance.

The Muzrai Department and Hassan district administration responded positively, however, no response has been received from the ASI yet. The temple management committee discussed a series of programs, in a meeting, in order to mark the 900th anniversary of the monument. Religious programs were held as per the suggestions, under the leadership of the priest of the temple. Seminars, a sculpture workshop, competitions for college students, and a State-level Bharatanatyam competition, as a part of a nine-day event, were also suggested by Mr. Vati.

Uma alias Muddamma, president of Belur Town Municipal Council, said that they are still in the process of figuring out what events could be conducted to celebrate the 900 years of Chennakeshwara temple. “On an average, more than 10,000 people visit the temple during weekends. We need funds to develop road infrastructure in the area in addition to improving amenities for visitors. We have submitted a memorandum to chief minister Siddaramaiah seeking funds for development of the town and are awaiting his reply,” He informed.

The Chennakeshava temple at Belur is a marvellous example of the Hoysala architecture and forms a crucial part of their legacy. It is indeed disappointing that the celebration of 900 years of the temple is not being given due importance.

The Chennakesava temple originally referred to as the Vijayanarayana temple is situated on the Yagachi River at Belur. It has also been proposed for the UNESCO World Heritage tag. The temple attracts a large number of tourists every year.

Prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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Karnataka Government likely to issue order capping Multiplex Tickets at Rs 200 within 3 days

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Indian Theatres, VOA

Bengaluru, April 28, 2017: The Karnataka government is likely to issue, within three days, an order capping multiplex tickets at Rs 200 within three days as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had proposed in the state Budget.

“The Chief Minister has already given in-principle consent to the proposal to cap multiplex tickets,” state Principal Secretary, Information and Public Relations, M Lakshminarayana said here on Friday.

The delay in issuing the order has triggered a public debate as cinema theatres had started charging whopping prices for the keenly-awaited “Baahubali 2 – The Conclusion”, which hit the screens on Thursday night.

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The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), the apex body of Kannada film industry, has been pushing for implementing the proposal after receiving the complaints of multiplexes collecting exorbitant ticket rates.

“I expect the government to issue the order on capping multiplex tickets by Tuesday since Saturday and Monday are holidays,” said KFCC President Sa Ra Govindu, alleging that the government has been delaying the order by sending the file from one department to another.

But Lakshminarayana denied it.

“It is not done deliberately, but to seek consent from departments which come under the purview of the subject matter,” Lakshminarayana said.

The exhibitors are skeptical about the government’s move to cap movie ticket prices at Rs 200. Last month, Mukta Arts Managing Director Rahul Puri had said the industry would in all likelihood oppose the move, stating that price capping as a concept was against free market.

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“The government has not called for suggestions or objections from public to the proposal of capping cinema tickets at Rs 200. Those affected may appeal in the court against the government order,” said K.V. Chandrasekhar, who owns the two-screen Veeresh theatre here and is a former president of the KFCC.

The proposal in the 2017-18 budget followed the recommendations by a 14-member committee, headed by filmmaker and Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy Chairman S.V. Rajendra Singh Babu. (IANS)

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Pratibimba: Karnataka launches platform to showcase its performance and achievements to people of state and Country

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A temple, representational image, Wikimedia commons

Bengaluru, March 7, 2017: The Karnataka government on Tuesday launched a comprehensive web-based platform to showcase its performance and achievements to the people of the state and the country.

“Through the website – Pratibimba (Reflections), we will inform the citizens about the promises made and fulfilled during the past four years, performance of 27 key departments and achievements so far,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters.

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Also dubbed ‘Chief Minister’s Dash Board’, the bilingual (Kannada and English) portal – pratibimba.karnataka.gov.in – will also post updates on the various welfare schemes and programmes and development projects of the state government.

“The updates will be on monthly and quarterly basis with details of the flagship schemes and programmes offered and projects implemented or underway, funds allocated and spent, their outcomes and beneficiaries,” said Siddaramaiah.

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The portal will also serve as an important tool to improve efficiency in governance and allow citizens to assess the performance of the departments across the state.

“Pratibimba will be a reflection of the state’s development and its growth story,” said the Chief Minister.

Pratibimba will be expanded and diversified to include district-level performance, integration of solutions on the dash board and feedback from citizens.

The website will enable departments to be transparent, accountable and efficient, allowing the government to fulfill its commitment to inclusive governance. (IANS)