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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where is Bangalore?

Bangalore, the garden city, once upon a time was famous for its all season in a day, is gradually declining thanks to the urbanisation swallowing lakes, the introduction of Metro, increase in pollution caused by the numerous vehicles.

This bangalore where I was born some 54 years ago, occasionally visited during holidays, was onec a place of shivering cold even in '77, When I visited last before my 1998 visit. This bangalore was green with avenues, chilly weather, was liked by all.

Even in '98 I did not see such drastic changes when compared to what I see and know of Koramangala now. Many independent buildings have given way for multiplex complexes, stores and flats. The 80 feet road was never a scare for crossing but it is a nightmare!.

Earlier I have crossed the roads on my own and now after reaching 50s I do not feel ashamed of holding my husband's hands while crossing the same roads!. Had it been 25 years back, I wouldnot have held his hands. The fear of dying with mutilation grips me and all I want is a dignified instant road death!. I always carry one of my ID with me when i go out even for a walk, lest I am put in the morgue unidentified.

Maximum number of malls, Retail stores, software companies have made Koramangala a rich place, making life difficult for middle class people .

BBMP has to work a lot to make it a place worth living and commuting. So many signals were installed, thanks to World Bank roads were widened and asphalted.. Mr. Ramalinga Reddy MLA, contributed a lot for the upcoming of his constituency.

It is like seeing your child grow, to see Koramangala develop so well. I remember taking many small cross roads even during day time was scary, but with so much of people moving around and the terrific traffic has left little place for pedestrians like me who prefers to walk if it is around 3, 4 km within the area.

But the chaotic traffic on the roads creates a hazardous noise and air polluted environment, which takes its toll on the commuters. There is mad road rage, violation traffic rules, impatience, too many one ways inspite of wider roads, until and unless we follow the policy which recommends the adoption of measures that restrain the use of private vehicles in order to reduce congestion, nothing can be achieved.

There is no pedestrian friendly roads, authorities turning a blind eye for the illegal encroachment of foot paths, all add up to the commuters woes.

To manage congestion, the best way is to include higher parking charges and congestion pricing.

A start can be made at the primary level.Unless the stick is wielded- nothing, nothing will come out of it. The police is the only arm of the state allowed to wield the stick ruthlessly. What is needed above all in Bangalore is enforcement .There is total disregard for law on the part of the public. No one cares for any rules any longer , the autos rule the roads, the autodrivers take the cake.

Things will certainly improve substantially once people realize that there is a price to pay (and it’s a steep one at that) if you break the law. Remember- there are many ways to skin a cat.

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