Monday, November 29, 2004

Just a dream and no more?

Just a dream and no more?

Deccan Herald

Chief Minister Dharam Singh said last week, that Bangalore could not become another Singapore. This was in answer to reporters’ queries whether Bangalore would be developed on the lines of Singapore. It was the previous chief minister S M Krishna’s dream of replicating the hi-tech city state of Singpore at Banglaore and Mr Singh’s statement might well disappoint many Bangaloreans.

But whether Mr Dharam Singh likes it or not, Bangalore is well on its way to becoming another Singapore, what with all the heritage buildings and traditional homes being replaced by high rise buildings. Look around the business district of MG Road/ Residency Road/ Richmond Road where plexiglas structures have replaced old colonial single-storey buildings. The business district is our very own Suntec City. And Brigade Road and MG Road lighted up for Deepavali/ Christmas and New Year is like Orchard Road lit up for Christmas.

Not convinced? Then take a drive down Hosur Road and look up at the high rise apartment monstrosities. They are as ugly as the high rise apartment blocks dotting the skyline of Singapore!

While on comparisons, the entertainment available in our city, is nearly as good or even better than that available in Singapore. The number of pubs closing, opening, closing, opening here are countless, better than a Zouk or an Equinox at Singapore. Then there is theatre and music of all styles available to us here. Whether it be rock, or pop or classical or Hindustani or Carnatic, we have it all.

Okay, so what if we don’t have as many malls as they have in Singapore? The malls in Singapore are countless. But we do have two malls of international standards, don’t we? As for Mustafa, the famous Indian mall, where every Indian wants to shop once s/he lands in Singapore, we have our own Avenue Road, that is narrower and more crowded than Mustafa. And both places only brave Indians will venture!

As for the people who really contribute to the personality of the city, with seven per cent of Singporeans being of Indian origin, Singapore is partially Indian anyway. And Bangalore being cosmopolitan has so many Europeans, Americans and Chinese living here that we compare in that count too.

And most important of all, Singapore is a land of the rich and the Singaporeans work hard and play equally hard. They dress well and it is obvious that clothes and shoes and looking good is paramount to the Singaporeans.

We are not far behind are we, with the kind of wealth the IT professionals are creating for themselves. They like to dress well too and look good too. And of course they too work hard and play equally hard.

Then again Singapore is a very clean city and Bangalore, as India’s cleanest city, is not bad either. Although the garbage lying around street corners need to be addressed, of course.

And once we get down to improving our infrastructure, which includes good roads, uninterrupted power supply, a good international airport, which is going to happen one fine day, then we can say we are nearly there.
Another Singapore, whether Mr Dharam Singh likes it or not.


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