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What are they smoking ?

One has to really wonder what the BBMP is smoking -

I guess we have to resign ourselves to more tree cutting, road widening and continued lack of consideration for the hapless pedestrian.

What is a little frustrating is that it appears that while people on Praja come up with numerous good  suggestions - nothing ever actually makes it through to the BBMP or the other various B organizations.


s_yajaman's picture

I want some of it

Back after a week of "no computer".

RS - I want some of whatever it is that they are smoking :).  Seems to have a good mind numbing effect!

So signal free corridors make world class cities.  This is a new one for me.  I always thought good public spaces, pedestrian friendly facilities, greeenery, etc made world class cities.  One lives and learns!

We will learn the very hard way.  As VM has pointed out elsewhere, fossil fuels will get more expensive and with that driving around in 1 ton cars.  It won't happen tomorrow, but my bet is that by 2012 or so we will see another spike in oil prices when the global economy starts to recover.  Then we will realize the stupidity of trying to keep up with cars by adding roads and making signal free corridors.

Good luck to us.


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

murali772's picture

interesting exchanges on HU y-group

Interesting exchanges on the subject on HU y-group, following the posting of        this       press-release, involving Mr J Harsha, a senior level government official:

Mr J Harsha started with:
Dear Shri Sriram,
Not all environmentalists are viewed as obstructionists by us.. But the one who does not have any alternative environment solution or any people's mandate but simple oppose for the sake of opposition are viewed as obstructionists.
Look Shri Baligar has rightly said - stand for elections and get the mandate and change the metro or wind up the metro or stop the road widening. I was writing on similar lines in this forum, get the majority of people and ask us to do what you believe is true and thats it.
Most of the time members tend to assume things like constitutional anarchy. It should not be forgotten that the people who are in the government of aware of the consequences of creating constitutional anarchy and hence normally such things can not exist.  Well if courts too declare what government is doing is right, then there must be something wrong in the views of people fighting in this issue. Check it out what is going wrong here. But do not say that Government has influenced judges and courts too. (Some even do not hesitate to make this allegation). Now since environmentalists have chosen courts it is quite natural government people escape asking you people to go to courts and not them as it is sub-judice.!

I wish not to be too dependent on Governor too as he is bound by the advice of Council of Ministers of the State Government. And please make the issue genuine not create an issue for the sake of confrontation, because the country has to develop first and let us not make environment an impediment just to satisfy our egos. But  find an alternative for the environment too which Government people now realize it as a necessity (but not at the cost of development) .
With kind regards, JH

Arun Nandavar responded with:
Dear Mr. Harsha,
I am following all the mail exchanges with great interest. Very often I have contained myself from my urge to send out stinkers. From your mails I can gather that you in one of the offices that draft / guide the policies. Your arguments, hence smack of babu mentality nothing else!

JH responded with:
Dear Shri Arun Nandavar,

Babu's do not become members of HasiruUsiru, you can verify that with moderator. That means I am out of the box  called 'Babu!' I request you to see the difference - To see Shri Baligar you have to take appointment or he will make you wait for hours or days if not months sometimes, but I am here in with HasiruUsiru interacting, learning and expressing the point of view the policy makers think. It is a learning experience for me to see how different minds interact and think on an issue, because right now my area of work too concerns environment and it is equally important for me to know the other side of the wall. (For some this interaction will be beneficial and for some the interaction is also useless.)

Sending stinkers is a sign of frustration and it does not solve your problem. If it does solve your problem then you can send as many stinkers as possible and I am happy to receive it . But do not do that to Shri Baligar or anyone else, because it will dilute your cause.

It would have been nice if Shri Baligar too would have been member of this forum. But will it happen if you start sending stinkers..? Will it not widen the gap further between government and activists side?

Rohit Shetty came in with:
Dear Mr. Harsha,
From your arguments, it seems that you are convinced that 'development' and environment are mutually exclusive. Can you please define what is development from your perspective?
It is not that environmentalists are unwilling to plant saplings and nurture trees, but if the ugly might of the Government bodies cannot guarantee their protection, what lasting effect do you think they can bring in. The environmentalists' contribution can really be worthy if it is coupled with common-sense from the side of Govt. bodies.
Even the worst pessimist had not thought that trees on Sheshadri road would go.... a road wide enough to accomodate 5 lanes of traffic, and a one-way on top of that. Can you help us see a single aspect of development in this action (chopping trees)?
Lack of protection for trees is very much equivalent to Government preventing planting and nurturing trees. 'Development' already seems to be mindless, which is accompanied by mindless felling of trees. Citing environmental reasons is not an impediment to development as you put it... environment is our basis of survival.

I added:
Dear Mr Harsha
But, the idea of development has undergone a drastic change the world over, and very few of the babu/ neta lot appear to appreciate/ recognise that.

JH repied:
Dear Shri Muralidhar Rao,

When you say " the idea of development has changed drastically the world over", which world are you talking about?  Is it the world which consists of Bangladesh , Ethiopia , Uruguay , Mexico , Romania , Tajikistan etc etc? Has the idea of development changed in these and many such countries?

But if you are referring to the world which has already developed and giving prescriptions on environment for developing countries... .then please hold on. Please you can check with data of large dams built by USA or the modification of Rhine river system for inland navigation in Europe or extensive use of fossil fuels etc etc. None of these countries developed without damaging the environment. (And that does not mean we develop with damaging environment)

Yes, you are right the developed world and UN bodies are talking about sustainable development.  Sustainable development does not rule out development, but declare sustaining environment for future generations (Bruntland Commission) and if some trees are cut for road widening, let us plant saplings double the number of such trees cut. Are environmentalists prepared for this? No one in the Government prevent people from planting saplings and growing trees (have they?)

So it is incorrect to say that very few in Government have the idea of sustainable development and that too just because your point of view has been rejected.

I responded with:
Dear Mr Harsha

The developed world and UN bodies are not just talking - they have been doing a lot, and from over decades. And, the pace is accelerating now.

Singapore's and Hongkong's 'development' plans provided for restrictions on usage of personalised forms of transport, even to begin with. And, cities like London and Paris (even New York, of late) have progressively been imposing stricter and srticter restrictions on the usage of cars, particularly within the inner city. When Frankfurt was re-built after the war (that's over 60 years ago), they planned for and executed the most pedestrian-friendly ever CBD, opposite the central station.

As compared to all that, not even bare talk has started on car usage restrictions in any of the Indian cities, as yet. On the contrary, the talk is all about signal-free, multi-tier passage ways, etc for vehicles, and for sending the pedestrians down into claustrophobic underground caverns.

Yes, we have our own complement of 'experts' in Bangalore also who exhort people to plant trees, but in parks, their logic being "trees are meant to be in parks and not for road-sides". This is simply because there's never a need for them or their family members ever to walk, with chauffeur-dirven cars being available at their beck and call, all at the cost of tax payers' money.

Further, with unrestricted automobile usage based 'development' , it will be only a few months if not weeks before the widened road is not wide enough to hold the increased traffic. And so, you cut away more into the park even before the sapling you have planted there has a chance to grow roots. And, of course, you can't call it tree felling because, by our BBMP's definition, a tree is a tree only if it's between 15 and 50 years.

If this is your idea of 'development' , Sir, I would prefer the caves.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Prajas and HU are not obligated to Babus or Netas..

JH wrote:

The beginning...

*/Look Shri Baligar has rightly said - *stand for elections and get the mandate and change the metro or wind up the metro or stop the road widening*. I was writing on similar lines in this forum, get the majority of people and ask us to do what you believe is true and thats it/*.

My take: For one thing, your writing on behalf of Mr.Baligar is not in good stead. I am sure Mr.Baligar, being a very good officer also would not have sounded you to write on his behalf.  If Mr.Baligar has said *-* then it clearly brings out the naked truth - Babus are there to serve the elected raps and not the cause of what people are talking about.  Please correct me if I am wrong. 

Secondly, we all know how Babus keep running at the beck and call of these temporary politicians called 'Netas' to offer them their highly valuable services by bending like Beckhams so that they can also get some ..... from those ...... who will be happy to be led with such exemplary service from their Babus.  They have something to gain and Babus have more than something to gain in every such opportunity. THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS AND OUR HATS OFF TO THEM.

For kind information - ONE GROWN UP TREE GIVES A GROWN UP MAN, OXYGEN FOR A PERIOD OF 134 YEARS - That is the power of nature.  But some who breath the same oxygen have the audacity to destroy such century old life line trees in 1.34 minutes.

Many such wonderful trees had been brought up by our father and forefathers with love and care; they are not here but they had left their legacies through verdant greenery.  But the present development taking place smacks of callous attitude towards all emotional and sentimental feelings of oldies like us. 

All said and done, pray tell us for whose sake the development is taking place? If it is for those who do not even bother to register their names in the electoral list, for those who do not even bother to go out and vote, for those who does not want to learn the singing language of the South Kannada and for those who care two hoots for the wonderful tradition, culture and heritage value of our Karnataka,  then let me declare and send out a Tarzaan's roar that we want our trees more than such people and there is enough for our people.  If those outsiders who do not care and respect us (LET ME SUBMIT - "WE ARE ALL INDIANS, WE HAVE A RIGHT TO LIVE WHERE WE WANT, CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH" ....ARE PASSE) do not deserve our 'Mudde'.

These are not stinkers - they were begged to be brought out.

Murali wrote:

The end....rightly...

/Yes, we have our own complement of 'experts' in Bangalore also who exhort people to plant trees, but in parks, their logic being "trees are meant to be in parks and not for road-sides". This is simply because there's never a need for them or their family members ever to walk, with chauffeur-dirven cars being available at their beck and call, all at the cost of tax payers' money.    

If this is your idea of 'development' , Sir, I would prefer the caves./

Mr.Murali, instead of our going to caves, it is better to send those mutilators of nature to Siberia and beyond.

Shrivatsa, welcome back (after rejuvenation?)

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