Mangaluru: Dakshina Kannada district In-Charge Minister Ramanath Rai inaugurated the long awaited Bejai market building on Saturday, November 21.
The project was launched about 10 years ago. Built at a cost of Rs 4 crore, only the first phase of the complex comprising three floors, was opened today.
Addressing the gathering, Rai said that his intention is to feature Mangaluru first in the list of top 20 Smart Cities and that works have already been initiated in this regard.
If this materializes, a sum of Rs 1,000 crore will be sanctioned to the city for 5 years. The funds will be sponsored on a 50:50 ratio by the state and the central government.
“Mangaluru entered the fray for Smart City project as it had the potential and passed all the desired criteria. Overall, Mangaluru stands first out of the six cities chosen from the state. A total of 100 cities will be developed into smart cities in the next three years,” Minister Sorake said.
He showered praises on MLA Lobo as the latter was instrumental in getting Rs 500 crore for the city in the first phase under ADB funds during his stint as the MCC Commissioner.
The city is due to get another Rs 500 in the second phase. However, only Rs 280 crore will be sanctioned from ADB funds and the rest Rs 220 crore will be borrowed from German bank. The aid will be taken so as to finance all the drainage work that has been undertaken, Sorake said. He urged all eligible citizens of Mangaluru to pay tax and make MCC financially stronger.
Mangaluru South MLA J R Lobo said that the main challenge now is maintaining the building. He suggested to the MCC that a society comprising shop owners in the building be formed to look after maintenance work.
J R Lobo and corporators Lancelot Pinto and Prakash B Salian were felicitated by United Friends Bejai on the occasion.
MCC Mayor Jacintha Alfred, Deputy Mayor Purushotham Chitrapur and MUDA Chairman Ibrahim Kodijal were present among others.
Prior to the inauguration of the Bejai market, the ministers along with other dignitaries inaugurated two concrete roads and work on nine footpaths in various parts of the city.