Sunday, December 26, 2004

6 ways to make Bangalore better

Home sweet home in a real Garden City where one can travel without frazzle, more wealth with health, schools without scandals, some healthy fun times. What more could the Bangalorean want in this utopia? Idyll apart, experts give some practical solutions to our Dream City.

The Times of India


There is a boom in the housing sector. But all the projects are aimed at either the upper class, the middle class or lower class, there is nothing for the absolute poor. And so, slums will be an inevitable part of Bangalore’s landscape. In all parts of the world, construction material is being recycled to save precious material. For instance, fly ash has replaced cement in a huge way in the rest of the globe. Such a possibility is not being looked at in Bangalore.
— C.S. Viswanatha, chief, Torsteel Foundation .


Looking at the longterm needs of a growing city like Bangalore, we need a metro rail system with combined ticketing, where a passenger gets off the train and gets into a bus to reach his destination. The proposed Metro system has two corridors: north-south and east-west. We should also have a circular system like the Ring Road or an improved bus system. Metro rail in parts of the city needs to be underground and should extend beyond South End Circle.
— C.E.G. Justo, traffic expert


Government hospitals and primary health care centres should have essential drugs and equipment that are procured in a transparent manner. A major problem is that doctors do not reside at PHCs at the district and taluk levels. There should be a good transfer policy that ensures that doctors stay at the PHCs. Funding towards healthcare has gone down from 5.4 % to 3.7 % in the last 5 years. It should go up and reach at least 4.5 % of this budget.
— Dr H. Sudarshan, chief, Karnataka Health Task Force


We would like to see the government take our accelerated learning programmes across the state to ensure that every child from Class 1-5 in every government school is able to read and write and do basic maths. Baseline measurement, performance indicators and reward/sanction must be built in quickly to ensure this programme succeeds in one year. If all of us involved in education can truly believe that every child can and will learn, we can perform miracles.
— Rohini Nilekani, chairperson, Akshara Foundation


We need to look at three aspects: afforestation, environmental education and lake development. The city’s lung spaces are being encroached and we need to create mini forests and green woodlands. Schools, educational institutions, the government and the corporates all need to get involved. Awareness about environment conservation needs to be created and the government needs, on priority, to embark on a project to enhance the environmental wealth of the city.
— Suresh Heblikar, environmentalist


The way Bangalore is teeming with activity entertainment needs to grow at least three times. Entertainment tax of 12 per cent is a huge burden on the in dustry. The govern ment needs to have a broad mind and it should liberalise the entertainment indus try so that it becomes a ‘for-all’ commodity Creating entertain ment parks complete with joyrides, pubs dance floors and food courts would be a good idea for a growing Ban galore.
— K.R. Rajanna, part ner-proprietor of Spinn, a pub


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