3 min read

Urban Development

Around the recent gastroenteritis
in Bangalore, NDTV was running a poll:

NDTV Poll on Bangalore

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
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

Singapore Day 12 013
Singapore Day 12 031
Singapore Day 12 022
Singapore Day 12 047
Singapore Day 12 193
Singapore Day 12 101
Singapore Day 12 133
Singapore Day 12 159

You can see many more photos in my Day 12 photo

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.