Boom, but no Bloom
With the boom, Bangalore should have bloomed. Sadly, that didn't happen. Unlike most Indian movies that have a happy ending after all the singing and dancing around trees is over, didn't exactly turn out to be what one hoped. With years of neglect, the rot had set in. Since Texas Instruments' foray into Bangalore 15 years ago, half a dozen new governments have guided the destiny of this fashionable city. Layers of policy, coils of red tape, bureaucratic bungling and the painful change almost every two years of a government, sent the city in a tizzy. All they did was talk, but none did anything to set right it's course.
Till this day, the State is perpetually short of electric power. There may have been plans to do something, but these blueprints almost white now, are perhaps lying rolled-up in some dingy corner collecting dust, available in abundance. Bangalore, nay, the whole State has this uncanny knack of suddenly having a power outage at the drop of a hat. Sometimes not even at the drop of a hat. The Software companies collectively spend crores of rupees each year on self-power generation systems. Money they would have been only too happy to plough back into the city's development if only the government cared.
First the authorities will dig up the road and then they'll fill it up
and come rains, the mess takes over. Who cares?
Statistics show that Bangalore is one of those cities cursed with the maximum number of two-wheelers in the country. Bangalore's Public transport system is legion It was pathetic yesterday; it is pathetic even today and likely to remain pathetic even tomorrow. True, more buses have been inducted into the city roads and yet, inadequate. Not just that, as the city gradually extends into the suburbs lack of public transport is good enough reason to invest in a two-wheeler, never mind the increasing cost of fuel. Mobility was important.
If the Taj Mahal is a wonder of the world, surely Bangalore roads come a close second. Riding on the Moon's surface would be like sleighing in snow. Ironically, its visiting dignitaries who are responsible for the facelift some roads receive. The image needs to be maintained even at the expense of a fresh coat of asphalt. But for a handful of roads that get VIP treatment, the rest of the city continues to survive with the pothole-filling expertise of our city corporation. Good roads are the fundamental requirements of a great city.
Bangalore was virtually free from crime. One couldn't have thought of a safer place to be in. Now, of course it's a different story altogether. The mafia seems to have taken refuge here. Not a day goes by without a murder being reported in the morning newspapers, not to mention the number of road accidents - many fatal - that take place on Bangalore roads.
Trees are cut to make way for concrete jungles, stretching their ugly necks into the skies. Parks and gardens are in bad shape. Ever so often, one can find street lights burn during day but switched off at night. We have this uncanny knack of creating traffic jams even when one thought the possibilities didn't exist. We call it convergence. Traffic converging from all sides to a central point. Sloppy, ineffective cops patrol the city, reckless driving, lawlessness, corruption, alarming pollution level, blaring music emanating from loudspeakers celebrating God knows what, contaminated drinking water, garbage strewn all around, stray dogs and what have you. That's hi-tech Bangalore of today - a city that shattered many a dream.