Monday, May 02, 2005

'Bangalore crumbling'

'Bangalore crumbling'

This is very true. Bangalore is crumbling. In the last 6 months I've been here, I have complained endlessly about the traffic jams and the bad infrastructure that plagues India's most technologically advanced city.

The problem is simple and complex. Simple because its explanation is simple. Complex because of its solution.

The root cause for this problem is politics, of course. How can it be anything else? SM Krishna was the US-educated tech-savvy chief minister of Karnataka (it has been quite some time since the exit of Krishna and Chandrababu articles on whom were regularly accompanied with cliches such as tech-savvy, cyberabad etc.,). His goal in life was to make Bangalore a Singapore (as advanced as that, at least). Then the inevitable happened and his party lost the majority. A combination of unlikely parties was cobbled together on the condition that Krishna be kept out of power. And thus the new uneasy Karnataka Cabinet was formed. It appears forever to be in a pre-alpha version. I don't know when we will progress to the beta; forget the release version!

This cabinet while wanting to get rid of everything that hinted SM Krishna's work threw the baby away with the bathwater. Devegowda - who after being a former PM - cannot come down to be the CM of Karnataka (his predicament is very funny) mouths shrill left rhetoric at every given opportunity. He blames liberalization and privatization as the banes afflicting India. This son of the soil who, unfortunately for Bangalore, calls the shots (or basically ensures that nothing worthwhile gets done lest the Congress party get all the credit) in the current state government has effectively caused the infrastructure work to come to a grinding halt (I seem to be in a cliche mood today). So, the work on the Airport Road flyover along with a dozen other projects across the City are not progressing at all.

Essentially, in this clash of egos the victims have been Bangalore and its citizens.

I am personally affected a lot by this as I have to cut across the busiest parts of town to get to work. Nowadays I am quite relieved when my commute of around 13 km gets over by an hour! If the roads were fixed, I could easily shave 20 minutes off my commute - that is 33%! Everything else would improve with that change.

Anyway, the political stalemate has caused the work to go no further.

So I wasn't surprised when the writer of the mentioned article referred to Bangalore as crumbling. Bangalore has become "one-way city". If these problems don't get fixed, Bangalore will still be a one-way city with all roads leaving town.

I fervently hope that this situation changes soon (I am sure it will only be for the better - it can't get any worse than this).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Check this out - Devegowda the great.