With 400 Wi-Fi hotspots, Bengaluru gears up for free connectivity in public places
The civic budget for the ensuing fiscal aims to provide free Wi-Fi across the city, at offices and at bus stands, with the Karnataka government's assistance.
Citizens in India's tech hub would soon get free wireless connectivity to access internet in public places, as the city civic body plans to set up about 400 Wi-Fi hotspots.
"Free Wi-Fi will be provided to people with the State Government's assistance in setting up 400 hotspots across the city, our offices, and bus stands," Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Tax and Finance Committee Chairman M Mahadev said, citing the budget outlay for fiscal 2018-19 from April 1.
Presenting the civic budget for the ensuing fiscal, Mahadev told corporators of the 192 wards in the city that of the Rs 9,326-crore expenditure, Rs 5,126 crore would be spent on maintenance and development works, followed by Rs 1,069 crore on garbage disposal and stormwater drainage modernisation, Rs 769 crore on welfare programmes, Rs 699 crore on salaries and pension, and Rs 316 crore on horticulture, forest and lakes.
He, however, did not mention the amount earmarked for setting up the 400 hotspots for free wireless access to the city's 11 million citizens.
The budget expects to raise Rs 9,323 crore in the fiscal 2018-19, including Rs 2,751 crore from taxes, Rs 2,504 crore from non-tax revenue, Rs 3,665 crore from Central and State government grants, and Rs 403 crore from recoveries and refunds.
Mahadev also earmarked Rs 5 crore to build official residences for the mayor and the civic commissioner in the city. He has also proposed to buy digital tablets for all councillors to usher in a digital corporation.
Apart from free safety kits, civic workers will be served midday meals from the State-run Indira Canteens, he said.
City Mayor R Sampath Raj, of the Congress, Deputy Mayor Padmavathi Narasimhamurthy of the Janata Dal Secular (JD-S), a coalition partner in the ruling civic body, and BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad were present at the civic body council hall during the budget presentation.
With inputs from IANS