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An end to all infrastructural woes of Bangalore

"Burn Bangalore, Burn IT" - says Dr CNR Rao, "if IT is going to take away our values." Infosys was started in Pune in 1980s and shifted to Bangalore soon after because the then Karnataka Govt. (Devaraj Urs?) extended lot of help to it. Imagine this scenario... Fed up by the infrastructural and other problems, if the IT sector were to discover a new place outside Karnataka and were to set up a Shangrila on their own somewhere else ... Provoked by the caustic comments from the former PM and Prof. Rao, if they were to close down lock, stock, and barrel... It might be the end of all woes of Bangaloreans. The State, however, would be in trouble because more than 50% of the entire revenue of the State comes from taxes of Bangalore's corporates. Will that teach our politicians not to kill the golden goose?
Aparna Muralidhar's picture

there should be a balance

While I totally disagree with "Burn Bangalore, Burn IT" I have to agree that this kind of "progress" has completely eroded our value system; people now judge you by what you have, not what you are; everything is measured in terms of money; keeping up with the Joneses has become a public passtime; children are exposed to materialism at a very age; everything is about getting ahead first, having more, going one up against your neighbour; we have completely sold our souls to money and what it can buy; that is not progress by any measure; at the end of it all, where are we headed? what is the use of destroying our own city in the name of progress? I agree that Infosys and their like provide employment to many people and shutting them down is not an answer to all our woes, but our politicians' greed that has allowed unchecked growth, widened the gap between classes, and is killing this city slowly every single day, has to be stopped and stopped immediately; otherwise, we'll all perish; we'll devour ourselves in this madness.
silkboard's picture

A possible way out

Growth, congestion, IT crowds etc etc. Some want and like growth (jobs, money), some don't. What is a possible way out? Imagine if we (the citizens) forced something like this. Whenever BBMP/BDA etc allow a large office or residential building to come up inside BBMP/BDA/BMRDA area, they must first prove to existing residents of the area that they have taken adequate measures to 'upgrade' the infrastructure of the 'area' so that it can take 1000 more apartments, 4000 more residents, or 10000 more office cubicles. Above would mean that when allowing so called 'growth', BBMP/BDA/BMRDA will have to simultaneously show investments towards: - more water (so that we don't gradually go to once-in-three days supply) - more electricity distribution arrangements - more road space - more policing (law and order, enforcements) - more waste management - more schools - more lung space (garden etc) - more commercial area (so that mom and pop shops dont mushroom on pavements) Don't you think local government has a responsibility to look after interests of existing residents before allowing more to live or work in an area? I think yes, and strongly believe that this 'mismatch' between 'growth' and corresponding 'amenities' is what has hurt our city. Can a PIL do this? We can start background work for the PIL by RTI queries around a badly planned 'high-growth' area (Marathahalli or Sarjapur Road apartments comes to mind, suggest more). Queries would be like this - when you approved those offices or apartments, what was the plan to get commuters/residents in and out of the area - how much extra water supply did you secure, and from where etc etc (need to think this stuff a bit) How long will keep getting taken for ride via these 'unmanaged growth, tough to control' type justifications? Above is my thought on one way of doing something. Let us know if you have more ideas.
blrsri's picture

boom doom

I can imagine Dr CNR Rao stuck in a unending traffic jam and having seen bangalore of yore including todays eye sore..would have compelled him to complain the way he has! But looking at it..Praja itself is a shining example of the out come of IT growth! About unplanned growth..its seen everywhere..tradiotionally we were never exposed to appartment living..I still dont subscribe to it! What is annoying is in beautiful residential extensions like jayamahal.. apartment are being allowed on 40X60 sites..10 houses in place of one..will have 20 cars parked all around the building! Bangalore is not sea consticted like mumbai or chennai to turn to appartmets..we have lands around which can used for planned growth..BDA allotting sites was a good way before..there used to be compulsory CA site allotment within every layout..with standard road sizes..this is what is missing in marathalli and other new places! These things need to be stopped immediately and as SB says every approval should be based on passing criteria set..taking cue from his it goes for IT dept qualifying people for taxes(one needs to have car/traveled abroad) - water plans (compulsory) - electricity distribution - road space (compulsory) - more policing - waste management (compulsory) - more schools - lung space CA sites (compulsory) - Parking (compulsory) ..this might bring some control! Other areas that are growing uncontrolled is parts of JP nagar and Bannerghatta road!
Aparna Muralidhar's picture

What about our children?

I agree with both SB's and blrsri's comments. I just want to add that in addition to all the checking above, there is an element of the unknown - for eg: most of the people who buy and live in these apartments are from outside Bangalore, some from outside Karnataka. It's safe to assume that many of them are here only for their working life - especially, those who've left home and family and are unmarried and have come here for work; with job hopping now the norm, many of them will leave the city and go back to their hometown or to some other city like Bangalore when they see a better opportunity; to accommodate these people, people like me who are born here, bred here, and will die here suffer the downside of this unchecked growth; cost of living rises every day, I can't think of owning a small plot inside the city, I'll never have the money to own an apartment within the city and even if I did, I'd much rather curl up and die than live in an apartment (traditional Bangalorean, you see); according to housing board statistics, there are now 3 times the number of apartment blocks coming up than there is demand for! Like blrsri said above, one 60 x 40 plot is housing 50 boxes instead of one house - can you imagine the pressure on the land? if you take a minimum of 3 people in each house, there are 150 people living on the same piece of land which was formerly occupied by at the most 6 people! lots and lots of apartments are lying vacant; as is our second nature, builders are cutting corners, using cheap material, and building 100s of mostrosities just because they see an opportunity to make money; this artificial increase in land price is having its worst toll on the residents of this city, the original inhabitants who have nowhere else to go but cannot own a piece of land in our home! and all the government can think of is chopping down more trees, putting more vehicles on the roads, building more flyovers while on the other hand dilapidated buildings crumble with every drizzle killing innocent (and always poor) people. In addition to all of the above parameters that an RTI application should demand, we should also ask how many other creatures we are displacing or driving to extinction with each new layout, new apartment block, new road that we're building - when you cut down one tree, how many animals and birds are we forcing to simply perish? how many varieties of fish survive in our lakes? how many plants? how many migratory birds come here when compared to say the 80s? who is accountable for all this? are we put on this earth simply to grab as much as we can in one lifetime and then go away leaving everything (or probably nothing) behind? Is that the kind of legacy we want to leave behind for our children?
murali772's picture

unwarranted IT bashing

Any development will be accompanied by a certain amount of dislocations unless it is planned and managed properly. It is not a phenomenon peculiar to the IT sector alone. In Kerala, for instance, the Gulf boom, and later the tourism boom, brought about 'development', and with the government unable to handle its effects properly, the lives of the local population got dislocated. The Bangalore IT boom pace was much faster, and with the government approaching it in the same way as it did the growth of village panchayats ages back, things naturally went wrong. How can you hold the IT industry responsible for that? Now, the IT (and ITES) industry is the only industry that has helped generate employment opportunities for the educated youth in the country in such a big way. If not for them, the youth would all have possibly strayed into some Naxal groups or the other. Their current prosperity has in turn fuelled the growth of the other industries leading to creation of employment opportunities, both for the educated as well those less fortunate, in the other sectors also. India has phenomenal strengths in these fields. There is a vast potential for growth, and the entire country could benefit immensely from it. Instead of celebrating this, it is a pity that the likes of Mr C N R Rao choose to remain stuck in a time warp. If we are to provide a decent standard of living to the multitudes in our country, who are currently below the poverty line and impatient to move ahead, we need a fairly fast-paced development. Yes, it has to be channelised properly. That's what the whole debate is about. But, anyone who thinks that growth and development are not needed at all, should then also be prepared to hold their parents responsible for adding to the burden on this earth. Muralidhar Rao
Muralidhar Rao
City.Zen's picture

Youth turning into Naxals

"If not for them, the youth would all have possibly strayed into some Naxal groups or the other." I understand that amongst other factors, one reason for the turmoil that Punjab suffered not too long ago was rural unemployment of those days. A farmer near Halebeedu recently told me recently that with the boom in the economy, petty thievery in his farms had virtually disappeared. Prof. Rao, brilliant as he is in pure sciences, might not be as thorough in developmental economics. Newton's two cats story comes to my mind. IT-bashing is like axing the nose to prevent chronic cold! -- City Zen
City Zen
City.Zen's picture

The Good Old Sixties

In the good old days, when any big industrial unit or factory was to be set up, an exclusive township to house the staff would also be located nearby to eliminate commuting. This was true of even the educational institutions like medical colleges. The hostels for the students and living quarters for the faculty would be housed nearby. The IT companies started small and many still operate from residential locations but at least the bigger companies can now think of moving away maybe towards BIAL and provide housing to their staff close by. Companies would remain unaffected even when bundhs, etc. happen. The daily pressure on the city also would reduce. However, in the good old days, it was rare for the wife also to work at a job. City Zen
City Zen
blrsri's picture


Jamshedji Tata in conversation with Swami Vivekananda came up with setting up of IISC..which as an institution has been the cradle for technology in Blr. We also know of BITS..among many other institutions! But what is known of IT co's is that they are the consumers for everything.. including the best engineers from ISRO landed up in there! IT co's sponsored seats at IIM's? ask the companies the price for it! Its been all about personal wealth..even the story of a gardener/driver/masseuses making millions because he/she was in the right place at the right time! Hope things change..and we start contributing back more! comment guidelines

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