September 22, 2005


Vijay Mallya found Bangalore’s infrastructure hopelessly inadequate. Do others feel the same?

GEETHA RAO Times News Network

IT’S depressing and hopelessly inadequate, said top industrialist Vijay Mallya. He was talking about Bangalore’s infrastructure. What induced the outburst? He had landed at Hong-Kong airport and read an international newspaper decrying the poor infrastructure in Bangalore. “Being a Bangalorean, I am pretty ashamed,” he said. But it’s not only infrastructure that shames other Bangaloreans. Traffic congestion bugs actor and politician Ananth Nag. He says he’d seen the present situation coming long ago when he was minister for development. “The congestion is because of population influx. I’d foreseen the current infrastructure crunch. That’s why I had suggested raising funds from the corporate bonds. The first year, it was to be Rs 125 crore, and each subsequent year, it was to be doubled to Rs 250 crore, 500 crore, 1,000 crore and likewise. By now we would have raised Rs 64,000 crore. But it was shelved.”
   Urban planner S Vishwanath says what bothers him is that the entry points to the city in all directions are catastrophic, because there is no planned disposal of garbage. This leads to soil and water pollution, and several related problems.
   Activist Ammu Joseph is ashamed of the fact that it takes the captains of IT and other industries to raise their voice and call the government’s attention to issues that affect the common man. She wonders, “Will the planning benefit the ordinary man, and I am not talking about the middle class?” 
All of Bangalore’s woes through a different perspective altogether. What really irks most is the attitude of Bangaloreans, their lack of discipline. “We defy or break every rule there is and then blame the other person for the result. Whether it’s traffic congestion or cleanliness, it’s our indiscipline that’s the problem. When on the roads, I notice no lane discipline. And that’s why at signal lights there are gridlocks. I am so full of rage when I go out. We don’t stand in a queue. I just saw a maid in our neighbourhood throw her garbage on the road. Now that will get strewn all over the place. We are terrible. We ought to blame ourselves.”

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