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Being a Bengalurian for 27 years I have seen some drastic changes taken/taking place in this beautiful city of mine be it for the good or the bad. However, I’m writing this article to reflect upon the issues which we face in our daily life.
People would argue that we need a change but I would contradict and say we just need to maintain what we have at hand because this city already has everything we need. Let me get straight to the point and highlight what/how we can maintain Bengaluru for the better good.
Alert: Suggestions maybe long and boring but if you don’t act NOW 10 years down the line we might curse ourselves that we didn’t act quickly enough.
1. Deny permission for construction of new SEZ/STP: With current set of public/private companies established here we have created enough opportunities for various businesses to grow and thrive. I’m safe to say that even my kids will be have a bright future. However, growing population and with people migrating here it’s become a very suffocating place to stay in. Why should just one city take all the hits? By denying permission for new SEZ/STP we might lose business here but it also gives another city an opportunity to develop.
2. Commercial buildings/Apartments/Marriage Halls compulsorily to have their own parking space: Ground floor of every new rise building should only consist of pillars to accommodate vehicles (Basement parking also welcome). Major problem today here is to find parking space when you go shopping/visit a mall etc. People park on roads thereby creating a congestion for travelling vehicles.
3. BMTC/Private buses to travel on LHS of the road: Ever find yourself stuck between two slow moving buses? Frustrating isn’t it? Even though the bus stands are always on the left side of the road bus drivers take the right lane…..as the bus stand approaches they cut lanes at their liberty leading to accidents.
4. Ban on posters/flexes: Every local guy gets a birthday flex here. They affix all over the place and do not take enough measures to remove them which eventually tears down and falls on the road causing pollution. All posters should be approved by BBMP and only ones with social causes/messages/awareness programs should be put up.
5. To create awareness about lane discipline (also use of indicators): This cannot be emphasized enough. Pay 100.Rs to the inspector and you pass the DL test. But what about learning traffic rules? Majority of the traffic is caused because of lane indiscipline where travelling space is occupied. One car slowly moving behind the other is an effective way to beat the congestion.
6. To plant more trees: Bengaluru is already known for its green cover. However many tree roots are covered with concrete leading to drying up of the trees. We need to build a separate GREEN COVER team which will look after every tree in and around Bengaluru.
7. Maintain lakes: What has led to the drying up of the lakes? It’s because maybe your house is built on a lake bed which is blocking all the canals from filling rain water to the lake. Remove all such encroachments, identify area of every lake and build enclosures to keep real estate sharks away. GREEN COVER team should also be responsible to check the health of the lake.
8. To put a check on noise pollution: People honk unnecessarily. It’s a sad and depressing fact. They honk more when the signal turns green!! Every 2 days in a week should be HONK-FREE and government should effectively implement this. As people start following it will become a habit.
9. IT/BT companies to implement Car Pooling effectively: It’s really very very frustrating to watch just ONE person drive a big SUV to work. Yes, if you are one of them you are directly responsible for the traffic. IT companies SHOULD implement carpooling at all costs. Also work from home option (max 10 days in a month) is another viable option.
10. REPAIR roads: Pot holes occur because the underlying soil is weak and it sinks. Notorious roads should be dug up and re-soiled and stoned up-to a level to make the roads firm. This is a costly process but it’s a one-time activity and helps save the money we invest in re-tarring.
11. Maintain roads: Very poor at the moment! Bengalurians pay so much tax for everything. Road maintenance is a very basic need for all. Wonder where all the tax money is flying away.
12. Waste Management: Situation is better at the moment and waste segregation is improving among households. But hotels easily bribe the waste collectors who unable to explain the big dumps of waste to his superiors dump the waste in empty sites and drainage canals causing blockages. Need to allocate teams to check such illegal activities.
13. To put a check on bore wells: Every new bore well should be government approved. One bore well per house should be the norm. Ground water levels are on the decrease and many commercial establishments/apartments are exploiting the liberty given to them.
14. Regular maintenance of gutters: Before rainy season starts all gutters should be free of blockages. Or else rain water gets clogged up on the roads causing inconvenience to commuters.
15. To take action on Outer-state beggars: They should be withheld and sent to NGO’s. Normal looking ladies with heavily drugged children who seem to the sleeping always (child trafficking) should be acted upon.
16. Feeder buses for Metro: Our beloved actor Shankar-Nag wanted to implement underground subways across Bengaluru (costly but yet good) but at least we have something now effectively implemented and people are reaping the benefits. However not all stations are easily accessible. People need to travel in their private vehicles to reach the stations. We need to have feeder buses.
17. Start E-toilets: When I’m out I end up going to a mall just to use the toilet. This is the sad state we are in.
18. 5 years – ONE mayor: Currently we get a new mayor every year in a 5-year term. Who once selected show extreme enthusiasm at the start to make it big in the newspapers. But later at the end of the year when their term is ending they sign unscientific contracts/tenders to fill their pockets. The next mayor gets selected and the drama continues. We need to have ONE suitable mayor for the entire 5-year term so that he has enough time to implement all projects.
Although these suggestions might look simple and easy but they are effective to maintain the good health of Bengaluru. As I finish writing this article I would like to take this chance and highlight upon a more serious issue of politics. People say that politics needs to change but having followed Karnataka politics for a long time I say we need to get rid of the people who think they rule Karnataka. It has almost become a cycle of repeatedly electing the same incompetent group of leaders, reason? Because the same set stand for election every time giving us no chance to select someone new. Trust me there are a lot of common people who want to come into politics and change everything but not all are willing to take that confident stride as money power, resort politics and personal egos take precedence over growth and development. Hence I take this opportunity to call upon all intellectuals/visionaries and people who have a voice among people to come forward and fight for a change. And many will definitely follow the path shown.
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