In an ambitious move aimed at decongesting Bengaluru, the State Government will develop a new city at Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) around 100 km from Bengaluru to decongest its capital, State Urban Development Minister Roshan Baig said. 11,000 acres of Bharat Gold Mines Ltd. (BGML) land will be used to build the city, he said speaking to reporters yesterday.
The plan is to relocate at least 20 lakh residents from Bengaluru to the new city and to meet its drinking water needs, desalination plants will be set up and sea water from Mangaluru will be brought to KGF through Yettinahole project pipelines, he said, citing the example of Tamil Nadu that has proposed to set up desalination plants to cater to the drinking water requirements of Chennai.
Karnataka has also proposed four desalination plants at a cost of Rs. 3,500 crore. These plants will be established in Udupi (Rs. 735.30 crore), Mangaluru (Rs. 2,533 crore), Saligrama (Rs. 76.71 crore) and Kundapura (Rs. 154.42 crore), Baig said.
“We have land at our disposal and we have initiated the project to help new cities emerge and decongest Bengaluru. We can relocate almost two million people there. Global tenders for the project will be floated shortly and we have initiated the process to acquire possession of the BGML land from Government of India.
BGML was closed down in 2001 as the gold ore reserves were exhausted after 150 years of continuous and heavy extraction. Kolar has been one of the region’s worst hit by the drought in the State and water has become a huge challenge for people living there.
Baig said a special purpose vehicle would be launched to bring in private investors to develop the proposed city and that the State was now trying to prepare a detailed project report to determine costs and logistics.
This apart, six clusters, including Devanahalli, Doddaballapur, Harohalli, Dobbespet and Bidadi around Bengaluru, will be developed as satellite towns.
Baig said that the Government has also sought Rs. 400 crore from Asian Development Bank (ADB) for developing Devanahalli as a satellite town.
As per initial estimates, the cost of developing the satellite town would be in excess of Rs. 2,800 crore, he said.