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2000 acres for IT park, what about other things?

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Urban DevelopmentGovernance

I am terribly sorry. But I have an issue with developments like these - new IT park on 2000 acres around the city (source: DH). No, I am not going to speak the beaten line of farmland acquisition. I am not anti development at all, but I speak for us, the urban dwellers who lead close to miserable lives in this city today.

The government is setting up a sprawling IT park on 2,000 acres around the City to create the much-needed space for IT firms to expand their activities.

Wonderful news, and the plans look good. But lets do some maths now.



  • Assume that each acre will house 100 employees. 2000 acres gives you 2000 * 100 = 2 lakh employees.
  • Unless you are telling me that some existing IT (BT, Nano, whatever) facilities are going to shut shop, I am going to assume that a good number of these 2 lakhs employees wil be new to the city. From Hassan, Belgaum, Nagpur or Srinagar, they will be new to the city.
  • Next, 1 lakh people (lets assume they all have no families or support 'staff') require 1500 new buses for public transport. they would need 30 lakh liters of water. they would produce 5 lakh kilos of garbage everyday. They will require 50 new green parks (1 per two thousand person - is that an okay norm?). Think more, new roads, new houses, commercial complexes, and so on.

So now, as a current resident of this bursting city, would I be commiting a crime if I ask the government to show me that when announcing the new 2000 acre big IT park (its not one park, its a set of small parks spread around the city), they have planned commensurate investments in all the said areas of infrastructure and public amenities? And if 2 years later, some neta or babu uses "uncontrolled growth is the real problem, what do i do" line in his or her defense, what should be our reactions to that?


mailabode's picture

Why more IT parks in

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Why more IT parks in Bangalore alone, why not in other smaller cities in Karnataka. Congestion is removed, also it develops other areas of Karnataka,  and provides a window of opportunity to develop the infrastructure in those cities.

Agreed that Govt interest in IT is important, IT which somehow eventhough the poiticians did not envisage this trend has come to be India's trademark, and its important to retain atleast this position(we missed out on manufacturing in a big way). One other example wrt to IT is Ireland. But i think the Govt needs to start thinking about other fields as well. IT gives employment to only a few people, what about the underprevilleged?. A policy that focuses big on infrastructure(on the PPP model) would generate a lot more jobs than in the IT industry as well as work in tandem to support the IT industry.

Pls do correct me if i was wrong about something.

tsubba's picture

beyond IT - Paging Devesh.

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that article talks about parks for small and micro IT enterprises. perhaps a welcome move away from the constant focus on large IT-walas and the big $ investments. but beyond IT, bengaluru used to host many small and micro enterprises in general engineering. how about support for that? at some level shouldn't the focus be on entrepreneurship? i hope as an industry member as an entrepreneur, devesh can start a dialogue about the health of the general industry in bangalore.
vvr's picture

This city desperately needs a breather..

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I think we need to seriously embrace the motto -- "slower growth for smarter management". This will sound like sacrilege but I would not be unhappy if there is a slow down in the inflow of new projects. Assuming we have capable leaders, a slow growth period of 3 years will allow our fair city to partially recover from the wounds inflicted on it.

tarlesubba makes an excellent point about promoting small and microenterprises. The city's attitude towards the small entrpreneur has to change. I have been in the process of growing the Bangalore office of my small US-based company for the past 2 years. I have a couple of young engineers who think like entrepreneurs and I can see the struggle they go through to resist the pull of the big IT companies. Life for them would be so much easier if they joined the Honeywells of the world -- better chances of getting a loan, fatter pay packets, better matrimonial prospects (!) etc. This entire eco-system of Bangalore is geared towards the large IT companies and that is a tragedy because innovation will not really come from there.

Devesh's picture

Hi TS, it was a great

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Hi TS, it was a great seminar organized by the Infrastructure Committee of BCIC yesterday on PPP. I head the committee. Very surprised to see no Prajagale there. I remember asking SB to post the invite on Praja.

The first integrated township at Bidadi is IT focussed, and is being pushed because of its higher chances for success and therefore a model for the 5 other integrated townships that are planned around Bangalore. The one beyond Nelamangala is for manufacturing.

These townships are going to be fully integrated i.e. Live Work Play.

I am open to one or two Praja members joining the Infrastructure Committee this year. I am concerned about the loss of manufacturing in Karnataka.

Regarding entrepreneurship, as you may know, I won the Lockheed Martin Innovation 2008 Silver Medal. I was in Mumbai on 5th at the press do. FICCI the apex national body, Mr. V.K. Topa, publicly lamented, that it took the initiative of a US company to come to India and sponsor the competition and to take winning entrepreneurs to world markets, while no Indian company has even remotely even considered doing something similar let alone discussed it with FICCI.

As a nation, India and Indians are losing the edge. We are too risk averse. I guess 190 years of colonization, coupled with 60+ years of post-independence colonial education has made India a nation of great clerks.

It is a shame that phenomenal business leaders in the Indian IT industry are unable to develop products. We have to depend on a Sun for StarOffice or Microsoft, when there are hordes of IT engineers sitting on the bench, and OpenOffice is open-source and available and waiting to be tweaked. If we see the level of innovation in the bricks and mortar companies in India, it is simply phenomenal. Simple example the Nano, but there are so so so many more.

Pioneers and founders of smaller companies like Tally, Skorydov and others producing packaged software applications should get far more praise and recognition from us, the public. They are putting their hearts on their sleeve, faith in themselves, and risking it all to develop a product.

A friend of mine once described the larger Indian IT companies as still for all essential purposes practicing and generating "techno-coolies". I will partially dispute that, but I will stand and ponder if he is partly correct in his observations. 

[was moved to a separate post, and now restored {blr_editor}]

Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
Devesh's picture

VVR ..... entire India is geared towards risk-aversion

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VVR, basically 190 years of colonial rule, followed by 60 years of Nehruvian "mommy-coddling" has sapped India of risk-appetite.

Be it the stock market or industry or personal life or governmental decisions, it is essentially herd mentality of trying to bet on a sure thing and avoiding hard decisions. You so rightly pointed out, this applies to careers also. Hence the migration to large companies who are growing larger, but not producing or incubating a proportionate share of innovation.

The new integrated townships being proposed should provide an opportunity for small enterprises to form.

Growth cannot be stagnated, ever. Once a city stops growing, it gets stunted and avoided. What Bangalore needs is a greater level of value creation. The IT services industry as it stands today, will not deliver it.

We need a Gujarat Modi approach which removes bureaucratic obstacles in the path of entrepreneurs and industry willing to invest money.

The focus on integrated transport options is one way to achieve the de-congestion of Bangalore.



Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at

Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
silkboard's picture

That Seminar on PPP

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Devesh, I was tied up due to some travel, so misssed that seminar on PPP. I read some snippets about it in papers, must have been interesting with corporate guys and govt taking shots at each other in good spirit. Possible to get more details on how the seminar went?

Clearly, we need to make the tools on this website better - posting events, managing posts etc needs to be made easier.

IT growing in Bengaluru

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That is what some Americans think: 

kbsyed61's picture

No word on regulatory initiatives !

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 It will be very helpful, if the details of PPP seminar can be posted here on Praja.

 Like SB said, I got to read it from news paper websites. Some were very general in nature and some philosphical. I am sure it must have been very interesting seminar. I did not read anything about an eesential component of PPP, regulatory body. Did anybody presented anything on this? I would like to know more on this apsect. To me this is where the test for our ability to manage the PPP projects sucessfully or not lies.

 Again, would appreciate if we can get more details on the seminar.


kbsyed61's picture

For controlled growth and development

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It seems you are missing the perspective of what people like VVR and others are trying to say. If you read the SB's original thread posting, the thought and reactions are not for any negative sentiments about growth and development.

Wthere we like it or not, growth and development takes place. If not managed properly these 2 will be in negative directions. B'lore's present day crisis is because we as citizens, government of the day and public representatives just remained mute/blind when growth was hapenning right under our noses. The result is chaos all around.

This morning while reading on rediff, this phrase from Dr. Prakash, Magasay Award Winner caught my eyes..... "As a country, we have progressed a lot. But progress should begin with providing basic facilities for all citizens. This has not happened in India."

For more details pls read this @

The sentiments expressed by SB and VVR, are valid and need thoughtfull consideration, specially bodies like Bangalore Industry Chambers. I totally agree with your concern on Manufacturing sector in Bangalore. It is this industry that provides the largest employment oppurtunities.

I certainly would like to see that proposped townships are implemented with all round needs, starting from good access roads, Ped Crossings, Signal Free main junctions, Parks, Schools (both primary and hIgh School), libraries, good public transport, Waste Management, Water Recycling, Renewable energy usage, 24 hr power and water supplies, good sanitation etc. But one thing I am against it is, all these should not be at the cost of depriving the current needs of the city. Lets not rob Peter to pay Paul.

I hope these townships are not just another PEENYA industrial estate area which after coupel of years looked shutters closed and barren.

kbsyed61's picture

Devesh, Congrats for Silver Medal !

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 Congartulation for winning the Lockhead Martin Innovation 2008 award. Well Done.

 Can you share your innovation story with Praja?


Vasanth's picture

IT has divided Bangalore into two

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Development of IT is good for those who are in that field. Most of our Praja members are from that field. This has divided Bangalore into two portions:

1. IT/ITES and people earning due to IT indirectly.

2. People who are not linked with IT for their earning.

Even in IT there are so many who are earning as low as 4,000 rupees per month in small startup companies to lakhs together salaries. But, this 4,000 rupees earning guy can easily shoot up.

Realestate in Bangalore reached skyrocket prices only because of the vast investments done by techies. This boom in realestate made people related to realestate such as builders and contractors rich overnight.

Transport business such as Indica/Qualis/Sumo related employee pickup and drop off  gave employment to plenty.

Doctors in Bangalore have become so expensive because of the insurance policies of these IT companies and the amount the techies ready to spend to get the 'specialist'.

On the otherhand, if we see people who are living without any of these IT related business / real estate business / anyother business , their life is very plain and mostly with pain. Increase in rents as well as inaccessible comforts/malls/multiplexes leads to some sort of depression among the normal Bangalorean.  'See from outside' places are becoming common for a normal citizen.

For example in Mysore, realestate agents wants to cash in with the name of IT and waiting on their toes, whereas a common man says we don't want this since Mysore will become expensive and life of a common man becomes miserable.

I wish to see cities like Mysore growing with companies entering there, but, always have the fear for a common man. It is safer to have a township for them with the amenities they desire with all hifi nightlife.

vvr's picture

It would be a folly to equate...

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 ... slower growth with socialism, Nehruvian or otherwise. Many in this forum are probably not old enough to remember the growth years of the electronics industry in the US in the mid 70s/early 80s. I worked for Hewlett Packard (a name that is synonymous with Silicon Valley) during this time and the theme "slower growth is smarter management" was the leitmotif within the company.

Now why would a beacon of capitalism (Dave Packard also served as the Deputy Defense Secretary for part of this time period) say something as incongruous as this? Hewlett and Packard (Bill and Dave to all their employees, by the way) were very wise men and they knew that they could easily sacrifice the core company values in the altar of growth. They saw that the long-term viability of the company was predicated on preserving the soul of the company. These men and other that followed them (up until Carly Fiorina, who destroyed everything that her predecessors had built) carefully traded a few points of growth for preserving the “HP Way”. Ideology, values etc. were not some woolly or romantic ideas to these men.

Now why is this relevant here? I think the Bangalore of the past 5 years and perhaps the next 10 is in a similar position to the HP of the mid-70s. The difference, however, is that HP wisely applied the brakes to make sure that the internal capacity to deliver of the company was not damaged. In large part, this capacity was the human resources of the company. 

Bangalore has done no such thing. Bangalore is a city that has lost its soul in its quest to grow. I saw this first hand a couple of years ago. My office was in one of the buildings at the RMZ Millenia (the old Phillips campus). I was waiting to cross Murphy Road in front of the building in peak hour traffic when I noticed a young severely handicapped man, also waiting to cross. He told me that he had been waiting for 15 minutes to cross the street and the traffic would just not stop for him. Ironically, we were waiting at a pedestrian crossing with a flashing yellow light (which  has since been put out of action). It took us a further 10 minutes to eventually cross the street. Did any of the motorists care enough to stop for this helpless man?

I have tens of stories like this. Collectively, we have thousands of stories like this.

Does the fable "the goose that laid the golden eggs" have any relevance in this context?

And, oh by the way Devesh, epithets like "coolie mentality", "the white man is always right" etc. etc. may be suitable for great rabblerousing speeches but do not necessarily make an argument  more compelling!Wink


amaku's picture

It would be an even bigger folly to ...

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... equate capitalism with a lack of social conscience. It is popular within the political establisment to consistently lay the blame for most of society's ills at the "feet" of greedy corporations. In India, it is especially effective to blame the "white man's exploitation of our motherland and it's resources", its a very good cover for all our own failures.

Capitalism, does not imply exploitation, like the communist parties will have you believe. It is not 'profit at all cost' as is popularly preached by many. No corporation however large and powerfull can and will not succeed at the expense of the very people it depends upon for its "profit".

In every case where such blatant exploitation has succeeded, it is because elected officials, entrusted with the duty to protect and safegaurd the rights of the electorate, have let them down and colluded with the offenders.

"The common wisdom that business contributions to the common good are counterproductive in the new competitive global marketplace does not hold up to empirical research. In fact, doing good is good for business ..." says Terry L. Besser, Professor of Sociology at Iowa State University in her book The Conscience of Capitalism: Business Social Responsibility to Communities.

Its a great read, if you have the time.


blrpraj's picture

why get so defensive and blame the white man?

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We do we have to get defensive and blame the "white" man? Why bring in the race card and skin colour to hide our own failures? The very same "brown" people who blame the "white" man take pride when the likes of LN Mittal,the late Kalpana Chawla and many other brown individuals flourish(or flourished as in the case of Kalpana Chawla) in a system/society setup by the "white" man & identify themselves with those individuals I just named and consider them "Indians"? Funny isn't it? Very prompt to lay the blame on the "white" man when things backfire and take the credit when things look fine where the likes of LN Mittal excel (please take note that I am not belittiling their achievements). Bottom line is failure or success knows no boundaries of colour...what happens though...depending on rpeated successes or failures a group gets stereotyped.
idontspam's picture

Everybody forgot

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While companies take a lot of flak directly... politicians and beuracrats who loot the country and stash unaccounted crores in the hundreds, get away while pretending to serve the very masses who they claim to proctect from the greedy corporations. So we are going to dogs not because of the companies but because of the failure of our elected representatives and the beuracracy to regulate them.
silkboard's picture

usual criticism vs common sense

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politicians looting our country etc - that is a digression from the original point.

As Syed said (thanks for the support), the problem is in understanding true meaning of development. You can't just announce new IT parks and walk away. You got to announce investments in other components of infrastructure.

How often have you heard - this road has become too crowded now. Why does a road become crowded? Because, it gets to support more vehicles than it was designed for. When you make a new commercial complex, or residential building, or an office building, you have to look at the load it puts at the local infrastructure. The "coverage" of word "local" can be debated - how local should it be? But the point is - such a debate must take place.

Why do we have to build a 10 lane road to E-city today (4 below, 6 above) ? Beause, when adding more workplaces to E-city, alternate roads weren't build. Why do apartment complexes on Sarjapur Road have to struggle for water? Because, additional pipelines to carry water weren't built when approving new residential buildings. Why was the old airport road choked? Because new access roads were not created for HAL airport when adding more flights to Bangalore.

You only put as much furniture in the room as there is space. You only invite as many people to the party as there is capacity of the party hall. If you want more furniture in your dining room, you may want to upgrade your room. Or change your apartment (add more space). Or move the new furniture to other room that has space (tier 3 cities).

I am sure that officially speaking government would have these checks in place. I want to hear them. And if they don't have these checks in place, BBMP needs to introduce them.

Some may look at this as "anti-development". That is short term view and bad judgment on this angle of looking at development. In the long term, this is the only way Bangalore will retain its reputation.

tsubba's picture

The EPIP Story

197 users have liked. Although two years have elapsed since the first allocation, no company has set up a unit at the park. One of the reasons for it is the laxity on the part of the KIADB in creating infrastructure. In addition, some companies are yet to get clearance from the Union Government to set up sector-specific units to claim tax relief. The KIADB official said that a power substation was yet to be built to ensure uninterrupted power supply. Board sources said that steps had been taken to supply water from the Phalguni (also called the Gurupur). “Work on laying the pipeline and supplying water is expected to be completed in one-and-a-half months,” he said. Kumble Narasihma Prabhu, president, Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), wondered how the Government could allot land without creating infrastructure.
asj's picture

Where are our city planners?

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Let me share a few lessons I have learnt from the IT expansions around Pune:

  1. In many cases once useful agricultural land has been taken up.
  2. In Aug 07 I was in Balewadi. Vacant and barren plots waiting to be sold. In between occasionally one saw a plot of a farmer who had not sold out to the builder - these plots had tall majestically standing sugarcane growing on them.
  3. I also had a chance to meet a well informed city planner who had fought tooth and nail at time when dozens of villages were incorporated in to Pune city limits to get authorities to think of the future. Were it not for this city planner, virtually no land would be reserved for - parks/schools/hospitals etc
  4. I also met a colleague who had bought a new flat in New Thane. A Hiranandani Group construction, hundreds of posh flats - guess what this society was paying to get tankers come daily with water. A cool Rs 60k per month
  5. Another relative (in New Thane) has only recently found out their building is illegal - its on what was a forest cum marsh land (incidently natures best flood defense system). And our memories are so short, no one remembers the floods of 2005 in Mumbai (a legacy of eaiting in to marsh land and diverting a river at right angle).

This is what happens when growth happens for the sake of it, no consideration to basics. In Pune people talk proudly about having an International Convention centre. The truth is if there was a fire, none of the streets have any well marked access to water pipes for use by fire brigade. The Pune authorities want to increase FSI to allow building get as high as 30 floors - but like Thane there will be no thinking about electricity demand, water supply, school, healthcare, demand on public transport, sanitation and garbage removal, etc.

And then out of the blue people will start talking about building flyovers, subways, metro, skybus, skywalks and god know what else.

Its not as if our country has no city planners with know how - they are just not employed by the civic administration.


silkboard's picture

Can we do a PIL for this? - I am game.

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Several recent threads have thrown action points for us. this is one of them.

Can we do a PIL to demand planned development - whenever you sanction a big office or residential complex/park, show to us (residents of the city, or Metropolitan area) that you are making commensurate investments in all developmental/infrastructural aspects (roads, power, parks, schools, water, policing, commercial complexes).

I am serious. I don't really know the cost and time invovled in filing and following up a PIL. Unfortunately, so far, Praja hasn't made inroads into the lawyer community. If we have, we don't yet know.

murali772's picture

extesion of existing PIL, may be

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SB - It can be an extension of CAF's Master Plan PIL, I guess. We can form a team to work on it. 

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
asj's picture


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I believe there is much that can be actioned on.

Across the site and several posts a lot can be used to start PIL/RTI but also a Praja-Authorities communication.


murali772's picture

Another grandiose scheme

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Even as SB has suggested a PIL for instituting planned development of the city, here comes another grand scheme, info on which was posted in the CAF googlegroup by a member.


Transport authorities have begun work on the Rs 700-crore Inter Model Transit Centre project at the Majestic Bus Stand, also referred to as the Kempegowda Bus Terminal.

The building, expected to be sixty-six storeys high, will be the tallest in the country, according to transport officials.

Work on the project has begun as the plan has been approved by the authorities. But Bangaloreans are not happy at the thought of losing yet another of their heritage landmarks.

Public in dark:

People's representative groups are furious that public has not been informed about the plan. They are gearing up to move court.

"The project cannot be undertaken just like that. A concrete and comprehensive plan has to be prepared. It has to be debated and then has to take off using minimum space in Majestic. The public is not aware about the development," said former Bangalore mayor P R Ramesh.

"It's wrong to start work without bringing it to public notice. As Kempegowda bus terminal is a unique structure and an important landmark, they can't demolish it. Officials have to take people into confidence, which they haven't. If that is the case, we will move court," said Lakshminarayan, former deputy mayor, Bangalore.

Proposes plan

The transport ministry has given their consent for the proposed plan which involves the construction of more than sixty floors. The process of shifting depots began last week.

Three designs for the construction of the structure have been proposed. They are: one like Ali Burj Hotel in Dubai, Double Tusk design and Shikara design.

"We have started work on the project after consultations with the public representatives. Shifting work has begun. Construction will also begin after the structure shape is finalized.

'Work has begun'

"We are having talks with private companies, who are interested in taking up this initiative under PPP (public private partnership)," said M A Saleem, director (security and vigilance), KSRTC.

Initially KSRTC will shift BMTC and KSRTC depots to four other places in Bangalore. A part of BMTC depot has already been shifted to Mysore road.

The layout

While 1,43,000-sq feet has been set aside for public purpose 36 lakh sq feet is earmarked for commercial use. The iconic tower will come up in the northwestern side. Shopping malls and cinema theatres will be constructed in the western side of the building.

Metro and Monorail stations will come up in the fifth and fourth floors. Third and second floors will serve the parking purpose and first floor will be BMTC terminal above which KSRTC terminal is proposed.

Seven floors above the ground floor will serve as offices to many government departments.

Final plan

"The plan is finalised. The new terminal is designed under densification of corridor concept, which supports seamless travel. As it has been finalised, the work has begun," said M N Shrihari, advisor to BMTC.

Muralidhar Rao

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