Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bangalore all set to restore lost glory

With all systems go, Bangalore all set to restore lost glory
The Times of India

For a moment, take a leap into the future and visualise Bangalore five years from now. An underground/ elevated Metro Rail zooming across the city, with a monorail as feeder service, carrying thousands of commuters. Elevated roads in busy areas of the city. A state-ofthe-art international airport linking the city directly to top cities of the world. An expressway, with a monorail in the median, that will take you to Mysore within an hour.

Unbelievable, isn’t it? But it will be a reality as Brand Bangalore is getting an image makeover. The IT capital is all set to take off again. All hurdles have been removed, funds allocated and muchneeded infrastructure projects have been put on the fast track. Thanks to a change of government, return of political will and timely intervention by the courts. After being grounded for 20 months by illmeaning, witch-hunting politicians, who allowed cities like Chennai and Hyderabad to steal a march over Bangalore, the IT capital has slowly started getting back on its feet and on the way to its lost glory.

A look at the much-delayed projects that have taken off in a big way:

Work on the international airport is on in full swing at Devanahalli. It will be ready in two years — by April 2008 to be precise. Bangalore will then be handling its ever-growing air traffic smoothly and efficiently. And, with smaller airports in Tier II cities like Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli and Belgaum being taken up for upgradation, connectivity with Bangalore will improve substantially.

With the last hurdle, CCEA approval, cleared, Metro Rail for Bangalore is now a reality. To be built within five years on the lines of the Delhi Metro, it will provide the city a fast, reliable, comfortable, affordable and non-polluting mass transit system. With a monorail to act as a feeder service, commuting will become a pleasure. No more road rages. Traffic density will reduce drastically as most of the two- and three-wheeler vehicles are expected to go off the roads. Noise and air pollution will reduce.

The Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) has begun moving, courtesy the courts. Soon, we will have an expressway connecting the two IT cities. Work is going on in right earnest. A monorail will be added at a later stage. Several townships will come up en route. Hadn’t the judiciary given a slap on the face of vested interests, the project would have met an untimely death. More such corridors are needed to connect Bangalore with Tier II cities of the state. In the process, the city will be decongested. And other cities will progress and prosper.

Brand Bangalore has left an indelible mark across the world. Such have been the strides the city has made in information technology. No other city in this part of the world has achieved this success so fast. Though infrastructure hasn’t kept pace, investors have been coming in hordes. Such has been its pull. Unfortunately, it was caught in a political cesspool during the Dharam Singh government. Unnecessary objections were raised, stalling all the infrastructure projects. IT giants were humiliated. Protests by citizens for better amenities were ignored.

Mercifully, the new JD(S)-BJP government has picked up from where S M Krishna had left off. Chief minister H D Kumaraswamy has cleared the hurdles put by his father Deve Gowda during the JD(S)-Congress rule, and given a go-ahead to the badly needed infrastructure projects. But he has an enormous task on hand. He needs to crack the whip, ensure deadlines are met, monitor quality of work, improve civic amenities, particularly in CMC areas, reward the efficient and go-getting officials, and punish the lethargic and corrupt. And, he should not forget his promise to provide urban infrastructure and better connectivity to rural areas. Merely providing lip sympathy just won’t do. Words must turn into action. An economically sound and efficiently managed Bangalore is vital for the progress and prosperity of Karnataka. Let us not allow this city to be a victim of political machinations.

Leave him alone

Guess who has advised the JD(S) and BJP camps to exercise restraint in airing their differences. Deve Gowda! Had Gowda himself exercised restraint during the JD(S)-Congress coalition rule, Dharam Singh would have concentrated on governance, Bangalore’s image would not have suffered a dent, the IT industry wouldn’t have protested against crumbling infrastructure, citizens wouldn’t have taken to the streets against poor civic amenities, and the badly needed infrastructure projects would have taken off. We only wish Gowda leaves his son Kumaraswamy free to run the government on his own terms.


At Sunday, April 30, 2006 at 11:52:00 PM GMT+5:30, Blogger ahobila said...

Ha Ha Ha. If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride; then pigs could fly and nukes would be safe.

Yeah right. These guys and Bangalore uddhaara. Wake up dudes.


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