Integrated approach advocated for infrastructure problems

Ashwin MaheshAn integrated approach by the civic agencies could be a solution to the ever-increasing infrastructure problems plaguing the City, according to urban research strategist to the State government, Ashwin Mahesh.

Delivering a talk on urban infrastructure at the Institution of Engineers here on Wednesday, Ashwin said the civic agencies in the City worked in isolation.

“What we need is integrated planning. Every single piece needs to talk to every other single piece and that is the only way solutions can be evolved,” he said.

Ashwin said, like most cities in India, Bangalore too viewed infrastructure only through the physical infrastructure window (roads, sidewalks, UGD, water supply lines, buses, etc).

The need of the hour is to understand that there are other types of infrastructure such as social (schools, colleges, hospitals, parks and recreational spaces), knowledge, (techniques, methods, design and innovations) financial, (access to funds, efficient deployment) and governance (planning, integration, accountability and flexibility) and they should be
integrated.

Similar approach

Referring to his infrastructure integration through Bangalore Transport Integration System, Ashwin said a similar approach can be adopted to develop possible solutions for public safety, urban poverty alleviation, water and sanitation, public health, housing, tourism and financing in the City. Referring to the gross inefficiencies in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, Ashwin said the civic body calls tenders to fill potholes every sixth week, and attributed the problem to lack of understanding of the City.

He emphasised on Street Design Manual for all kinds of projects to enable better execution.

‘HAL Airport closure, a gross mistake’

Ashwin Mahesh termed the closure of the HAL Airport a “gross mistake” on the part of the decision-makers.

“This is another instance where people plan and take decisions without considering the existence of others. What will happen to the viability of Bengaluru International Airport if Tamil Nadu decides to set up one in Hosur” he asked.

Given the clout that Tamil Nadu enjoys at the Centre, Karnataka will not be able to prevent such a development that would affect the BIA.

“And Karnataka has no ground to ask Tamil Nadu not to go ahead, with our chief minister announcing airports after airports in the State.”

He said even the Noida and Navi Mumbai airports were not expected to come up, but they did.

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