September 22, 2005

'Infrastructure concerns society as a whole'

A day before the all-important meet between the IT captains and the chief minister, ‘action’ and ‘implementation’ appear to be the buzzword.
   Speaking to The Times of India, industry leaders said they look forward to the government’s views on the manner in which projects will be implemented. The government will begin the meeting on Thursday with a presentation to provide an update on the projects being implemented. This will be followed by an interaction. Here’s what some industry leaders expect from the meeting:

No politicising please:

I want to
make it clear that this whole issue about infrastructure is not about IT and BT sectors. This concerns society as a whole. Let us not politicise the issue. It is a fact that IT has contributed a lot to the city. The key, meanwhile, is implementation. The only thing that needs to be done is to implement all plans that are on paper. — Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson, Biocon.

It’s embarrassing:

The roads in Yeshwantpur and Peenya, where nearly
50 per cent of the apparel export manufacturing sector in Bangalore is based, need to be immediately asphalted. We have so many foreign clients visiting these places, and it’s so embarrassing to take them there. The existing airport is also extremely inadequate. The new airport will take time, so HAL should be persuaded to allow construction of another terminal. — Rajendra Hinduja, director, Gokaldas Exports.

West Bengal is better:

I cannot but
vent my frustration at the collapsed infrastructure in Bangalore. On the other hand, infrastructure in West Bengal is becoming better and the state is a more attractive investment destination than before. — Vijay Mallya, chairman, UB Group (speaking in Kolkata)

How accountable are they:

just want the government to tell us how they will go about implementing various projects. We are committed to the city’s overall infrastructure and branding. Having seen the pro-activeness of the government in announcing projects, the industry is now keen to know their timelines and accountability. — R K Misra, vice-president, Flextronics

Same agenda:

We are following the
same agenda as last time (meeting with the chief secretary), focussing on the short-term and long-term plans. We have seen some in the last week which is a positive sign. — Anant Koppar, president, Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC)

And the man on the street says...

Give us space to park:

There is no parking space for autorickshaws. Despite being the lifeline of the city, the government has done nothing to provide us parking space. Also, there is shortage of gas; we have to wait for at least three to four hours to buy the same. All these issues must be addressed at the meeting. — Autorickshaw driver Shanmugham.

I face the music every day:

I go for school trips every day and then I follow the Mysore Road route. Imagine our plight as drivers; we have to face traffic jams for the entire day. Also we have schedules, which we have to follow — traffic or no traffic. People complain that we are rash drivers, but there is no lane discipline followed on the roads. The lanes that are exclusive for buses have all the traffic coming on them especially maxi cabs. Also autos stop in front of bus stops, forcing us to halt a ahead or before the stop. — Sampangiraj Urs, a driver with BMTC

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