Around the recent gastroenteritis scare in Bangalore, NDTV was running a poll:
Then, there was this whole one hour dedicated to hearing viewpoints from Veerappa Moily, Swathi Ramanathan and the general public regarding Bangalore's infrastructure.
Okay, okay, I know most of you by now are saying "Oh, come on, don't you have anything else to talk about? You're so boring". Maybe I am, but when I shift most of my "outside" chores to the middle of the day just to avoid traffic, and hate going out on Sundays because of long queues for everything, it affects me and I'd like to know if the situation can improve or not.
I liked how Swathi Ramanathan explained that the business people have come together to pitch in their part. The way they've analyzed the 15 critical junctions leading to the Bangalore International Airport which should have good roads otherwise traffic will bottle up here and will throw us into further crisis, err okay, I'll stop here.
It reminded me of the Singapore 1:1 Island Exhibition I visited on Day 12 (Jan 02, 2008) of my Singapore trip.
(To be honest, I was a little hesitant to write about this topic, even though this is my space, my blog. The last time I wrote something, people wrote in to say that I'm not Indian enough because I talked negative about our current situation and asked me to go 'home' to Singapore or USA!)
You can see many more photos in my Day 12 photo album.
I absolutely loved their Skyline newsletters where they discuss the upcoming developments. Do check out their last Nov/Dec 2007 edition. I can almost guarantee you that you'll come away inspired, especially the Design Wonders section.
It's not so much about Singapore that amazed me, it's the fact that they have such a vision about the place they want to live in, and the effort that goes into planning of such things, the importance given to design and architecture, and finally ensuring proper execution.
And it is a seemingly open process. Visiting the Urban Redevelopment Authority website shows the first sidebar on the left which says "I need info on Master Plan / Land Use Planning / etc."
Maybe that's what we need for cities like Bangalore?
It would help if things were more transparent, instead of the government hiding facts like a part of Lalbagh that would be razed for the metro. Or something like what Stefan Magdalinski did with TheyWorkForYou?
CitizenMatters.in seems to be a step in the right direction, but at the end of the day, it's just competing with the hyperbolic news channels. I think a more useful idea would be a website with a categorical depth of works happening in the different parts of the cities, the government offices involved, what is being done, and so on. But the website is still useful, for example, via an article on ward works came to know about this:
Coalition Against Corruption Guru Ravindranath Tel: 65734444
If you have noticed any governmental apathy in your area, CAC and Guru Ravindranath will guide you in fixing things.
Question is: Would I call Mr. Guru if I do come across something? I have this eternal fear regarding these issues about getting into something that I'll regret.