Changes the new govt needs to bring in Bangalore. Now!
The city seems to be happy with the direction in which it is "developing" and has largely re-elected its sitting MLAs. Among the 28 constituencies in Bangalore, Congress has bagged 13 seats, BJP won 12 and JD(S), 3. The BJP, which lost its sheen across Karnataka, retained 12 seats here. With 13 seats for Congress and 12 for the BJP, it is surely going to be a difficult task keeping the interests and ideologies of both the parties together and working.
Bangalore is now waiting to see what the new government plans to do for the development and sustainability of the face of the nation - the IT city. The puddle of problems in the city is aplenty and the challenge for the newly elected leaders is to make it a liveable city. What next?
Let's look at the top 5 problems haunting Namma Bengaluru and the newly formed government needs to fix immediately.
Several tags have donned the city since ages. IT-city, Silicon city, Garden city and now, the Garbage city. The garbage mess in Bangalore has hit national headlines and the topic has been one of the most talked about. Every other street in Bangalore was littered with huge mounds of garbage all over. From popular markets like K.R. market, Shivajinagar, Madiwala, and Jayanagar, no place was spared from tonnes of filthy stinky garbage mess.
Deadlines after deadlines came up but no respite from the bulging garbage problem. Nobody wants garbage in their backyard and this had resulted in the shutdown of all landfills in Bangalore due to the resistance from the people living near the landfills. Villages like Mandur, Mavallipura, Doddaballapura, S Bingipura are exposed to an environmental disaster with the villagers catching up several diseases. Contractors and truck drivers were running across Bangalore in search of a suitable place to dump tonnes of garbage. Solutions like waste segregation and turning waste into compost was discussed far and wide by could not bring much respite.
Will the new government be able to clean up the city mess and bring a permanent solution to the eminent problem across city?
850 sq km city and not a single road in it is pothole proof. It's just the usual story of official apathy and inefficiency with tales like no funds, weak tender, etc. Be it the swanky Brigade Road or a small lane on the outskirts. And these road apathies do not end with just potholes. Bangaloreans are plagued equally by entire stretches dug up to lay cables and water or sanitary pipes not filled up later or haphazardly filled up.
And Bangalore has the dubious distinction of leading the way even in the number of potholes - by last count, over 30, 000. The effect of these ‘piranhas' of the road is there for all to see: not only does traffic move gingerly, even on arterial roads, but not a day goes without a handful of motorists, especially bikers, ending up hospitalised with spinal injuries.
The need of the city is to get smooth roads where commuters are confident of reaching their destinations without the fear of getting dragged on the road after bumping into a pothole.
Bangalore needs 1,400 million litres of water daily but gets only about 1,250 million litres. Out of 800 million litres of sewerage water, less than 400 million litres is processed and re-used. At the 4% population growth rate of Bangalore over the past 50 years, the population of Bangalore living in the 772 km2 area of the present BBMP will increase from 85 lakh in 2011 to one crore by 2016. The only reliable water supply to Bangalore is from Cauvery with a gross of 1,410 million litres a day (MLD).
Besides, Bangalore city falls under two basins, Cauvery and Pennaiyar basins. Only Cauvery basin area can receive Cauvery water and half of the Bangalore is outside it. A large portion of newly added areas on the outskirts are also denied Cauvery water supply. Rain water harvesting hasn't been put to practice at many places and conserving water is becoming difficult.
The water supply in the city is not able to quench the thirst of millions of Bangaloreans. The numbers are really scary. But the newly elected government should be able to come up with a solution to the drying Bangalore.
A forum in the city recently stated that According to a research paper from the Dept of Geology Bangalore University, there were 3000 lakes in 1930. And in 1950 it reduced to 484 lakes. Now only 184 lakes remain. News reports also stated that bore wells in Bangalore are likely to pump air since the lakes and water bodies are now depleting.
Of the total lakes, which the Palike claims the City has, 42 were reportedly lost due to development work. They were converted to residential layouts, playgrounds, stadiums, industries, government buildings and bus stands. Scores of private projects, apartments, indepedent houses and commercial complexes now stand on erstwhile lakes. Disappearing lakes are one of the reasons for the noticeable rise in the city's temperature.
Now the point is, will the new government work hard towards the restoration and conservation of Bangalore's beautiful lakes?
The much awaited project that is close to Bangloreans' heart. There is much talk about how the metro will reduce the road burdens and traffic. Bangalore is waiting for a full Metro connectivity which would decrease the travel time. But at the pace with which metro is being constructed, there are several other problems that revolve around it..
Phase 1 will cover 41 kms, of which only 6.7 km has been operational. Works in all other corridors are snail-paced. Commuters travelling on the roads where construction is on, have been discomforted with battered roads and diversions. Main roads like Mysore road and Yelahanka have been witnessing terrible traffic jams because of the slow pace of construction work. Roads have been dug up and debries are lying all around.
Will the new governance ensure a speedy construction of metro rail and completion of the project?
"Wait and watch" is the way forward for Bangloreans.