Bangaloreans can look forward to...

Bangaloreans can look forward to...

Bangaloreans can look forward to...

The year 2013 was one of the worst years for Bangalore city with absolutely no work on the infrastructure front. Bad roads, bumper-to-bumper traffic jams, repeated power outages, clogged drains and stinking garbage, ATM robberies, incidents of crime against women and children – Bangaloreans had to bear these and more as they went about their daily lives commuting on crowded buses, or haggled over fare with auto drivers. What will the year 2014 be like?

 Will Bangalore be a safe city, where women can venture out without fear? Will the back-breaking roads be pothole-free, finally? Can Bangaloreans expect the long overdue Metro Rail to be operational in other promised stretches? ... there are endless questions on people’s mind. Officials at the helm of the police (law and order and traffic), BBMP, BDA, BESCOM and BMRCL have a host of plans for the year ahead. The plans look grand but Bangaloreans want implementation, not just tall promises.

Safer city 

Official speak: Kamal Pant, additional commissioner of police (law and order), hopes to implement  technology driven safety measures by installing additional surveillance cameras and getting more dedicated lines to the number 100. “Safety of women, senior citizens and children will be our priority in the New Year. There will be seven additional ‘Spandana’ centres for women and senior citizens that will be opened in seven zones. We also intend to heighten our patrolling in sensitive areas,” states Kamal. 

People’s perspective: Ananya A, a student, observes, “Bangalore is much safer compared to cities such as Mumbai and Delhi. The only thing I am worried about is the attitude of the autorickshaw drivers. It is unnerving to see them charging unreasonably high rates and act menacingly if you refuse to pay. The police though certainly help women harassed by auto drivers.” 

More flyovers needed 

Official speak: PN Sreenivasacharya, chairman, Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), says that the priority of the BDA will be to solve the Arkavathy Layout crisis at the earliest. “We hope to complete our pending housing projects, including Kempegowda Layout and start issuing application forms for other proposed layouts.”  

“Among our mega flyover projects, the one-way from Nagavara towards Whitefield will be operational early next year and we also intend to give the entire stretch of the Outer Ring Road a facelift.”
People’s perspective: Ananth Ramachandran, businessman, feels, “The BDA may claim to construct many flyovers but their mega projects – The Hennur flyover and Nagavara flyover – have affected a lot of business establishments around it. 
The completion of Nagavara flyover may ease traffic to a great extent.” 

Integrated transport system 

Official speak: Anjum Parwez, managing director, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, says that the highlight of this year will be the introduction of 15 additional Trunk buses that will ferry people from the central areas of the City to the suburban areas. 

“We will introduce the intelligent transport vehicle system which includes the installation of Global Positioning System on every bus to track its movement. Tickets of various denominations will be replaced by smart cards and printed tickets through the Electronic Ticketing Machine,” promises Anjum.   
People’s perspective: Soumya, systems administrator, feels, “I always travel by buses and the ticketing system is confusing and unorganised. There are times when the conductor takes the money and forgets to give the ticket. The checking inspectors come in and people get into trouble. 

I am sure the Electronic Ticketing Machine will help passengers travel hassle-free.” 

Metro Rail chugs...

Official speak: BV Kulkarni, general manager, human resources, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), informs that the Government of Karnataka has given approval for the start of Phase II of the Metro Rail project but approval is awaited from the Central Government. “The oscillation trials of Phase I, Reach III and IIIA (from Sampige Road to Peenya) have been completed and we hope to launch this stretch by January 15, 2014. The underground tunnel work from Majestic to Vidhana Soudha has been completed and will be operational from March 14 and the underground stretch from Majestic to City Railway Station (a part of East-West Corridor) is progressing fast,” reveals Kulkarni. He further states that Reach II of Phase I from Vijayanagar to Mysore Road will be open to the public in August 2014. 

People’s perspective: Avishkar Tirupati, a student, is hopeful that Metro Rail will be a reality in Bangalore. 

“It is definitely slow but as a citizen, I believe that it will be completed soon. It is important to increase the pace of Metro construction. It must be the priority for both the BMRCL authorities and Government of Karnataka.”     

Lessons in garbage management 

Official speak: M Lakshminarayana, BBMP commissioner, promises to open more waste collection centres across the City. “Waste from people’s home and the streets will be collected and a system will be put in place, where this waste will be segregated at these collection centres and processed. 

This will ensure better waste management in the City.  We will continue our efforts to make Bangalore a pothole-free City. Illegal hoardings and posters will be pulled down,” assures Lakshminarayana. 

People’s perspective: Arun, IT professional, says,  “The government has been promising garbage-free stretches for a long time now but nothing has happened and I don’t think the conditions of our roads will improve in the near future. A small underground pipe leakage is enough to destroy a newly-tarred stretch.”  

Uninterrupted power supply 

Official speak: Pankaj Kumar Pandey, managing director, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) has listed a lot of projects for the year ahead and he hopes to achieve most of them.

 “The replacement of electro mechanical meter by electro static meters will be undertaken at an approximate cost of Rs 100 crore. We will ensure uninterrupted power supply. 

There will also be the implementation of prepaid meters for temporary power supply installations on pilot basis in Bangalore. The New Year will see smart meters being installed on a pilot basis,” informs Pankaj. 

People’s perspective: Bijith Madhavan, banker states, “Although, the government has promised uninterrupted power supply, I don’t believe this is going to happen.” 

“We don’t feel the  difference at work, thanks to power back-up system but at home, frequent power disruptions make life miserable.”

Better traffic management 

Official speak: B Dayananda, additional commissioner of police (traffic), says the Traffic Management Centre will be opened in the New Year and the City’s traffic flow would be controlled from one central point. “Another 100 surveillance cameras will be added to the existing 179 cameras across various points. Another 20 Variable Message Systems will be erected at strategic points in the City. 

This system will flash real-time information about congested points in the City,” informs Dayananda. He further states that the helpline 103 will be upgraded and the many campaigns by the traffic police will be activated.     

People’s perspective: Jitesh Pamnani, software professional, states, “High-end traffic management system is not the solution for Bangalore's traffic congestion.” 

“It may solve 10 per cent of the problems but Bangaloreans need to go for car-pooling and respect traffic rules when driving.”