The future of Bengaluru

Things have changed drastically over the past decade. More people, more vehicles, more buildings, narrower roads, fewer trees, drying up lakes, disappeared sparrows, eternally dug up roads. I’m sure the city is still in its growing stage. But I wonder if it can survive such rapid a growth. Then I start to worry and fear and think for the future of the once garden city, Bengaluru.

It is not that I am being all pessimistic about the developments happening. On the contrary I am happy. It is sad that the happiness should come with a ‘but’ – ‘but where is the balance?’ Where is the fresh air? Where is pedestrian space? Where are the lakes? Where is time?

Some nights ago, I dreamt that the beautiful city has turned a concrete jungle with no trees and *shudder* no old buildings. It has suddenly transformed into a tech city with no remains of history on the roads. No buildings I can see and remember the days of yore. I woke up in a cold sweat in a state of panic. What if that really happened? Old buildings and houses are coming down and getting replaced by multi-storeyed apartment complexes. Trees are cut to make way for new changes. What if one day the beautiful city I saw suddenly disappeared and I can’t show my kids what I lived in?

I know I sound paranoid and childish. But any Bangalorean will agree with me that we need our roots, to remember, to revisit and to tell stories to the next generation.

I have been reading a lot of articles in The Hindu. How rain water harvesting has flopped in the city. There are many more articles on RWH. If possible I’ll dig the links out. I wonder why educated people fail to understand the necessity of the hour and do the needful. Corporates can also contribute in this cause to save the city. People can carpool and reduce the traffic. Offices can introduce flexi-hours as to beat the peak hour rush. Like my office timings are 7:30 am – 4:30 pm. So we hardly face any traffic.

This article on The Hindu Habitat, writer seems to have read my mind (except the statistics). With temperatures soaring with each passing year, the city is slowly losing its fame for the lovely weather. Why not plant more trees in your backyard (those who are lucky to have one)? Why not protest against the trees which are being cut? There will always be another way to work around it. This one goes to show how one can plant.

Should I even begin with the water scarcity problem? Almost everybody I know is bearing the brunt of the issue. Many people and societies resort to getting water from the tankers whose prices have also increased. But the matter of concern is that I see a borewell being drilled every other day in my own small area. Do people have any idea that there is something called as ground water/water table and it might get affected with so many borewells?

So who is responsible for bringing back the balance?

The government? The corporation? Beep. Wrong answer. Though it might help to reinforce some rules and regulations about construction and borewell drilling.

The correct answer is me and you, the people who love this city for its lovely weather and beautiful tree-lined roads, the people who migrated here for their bread, the people who know what the problem is but are expecting someone else to solve them.

Bangaloreans, and I mean everybody who lives here, please take it upon yourselves to see around and become aware of the changes. Doesn’t the rise in temperature bother you? Doesn’t the dust and dirt you inhale on the road concern your health? Doesn’t the garbage that lies around concern your hygiene? Doesn’t the traffic jam get to your nerves? Don’t you want to be able to cross the road without holding your heart in throat?

I know. Who doesn’t enjoy walking down a lane lined with green canopy? Everybody wants to have peace of mind. Everybody wants to see clean roads and surroundings. But what is everybody doing (or not doing) for it?

For once, citizens of Bangalore. Ask yourselves these questions. And find answers before it is too late.

PS: I recommend reading The Habitat supplement that comes along with The Hindu, every Saturday. The supplement also gives tips, suggestions and information on buildings and construction.

PS 2: This is not a sponsored post. I am not being paid to feature these articles here. I read the paper everyday and find the information mentioned useful.

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2 thoughts on “The future of Bengaluru

  1. Well observed post on the state of cities in India. It is a sorry state that has the hands of builders in nexus with corrupt politicians. They call it business as usual but we don’t. The same thing has happened to the city known as oxford of the east, Pune. It is a far cry from the peaceful city it was years back. Gone are the days you would take a nice walk in the pollution free areas. The merciless builders have attacked the beautiful hills and trees and despite protests, they are violating environmental laws. People must put a stop to that but how!

    • Agree with you vishal. Pune is another city I’ve lived in and adore. I had visited it last year, three years after my departure and was shocked at the developments. It is also on the way to becoming another Mumbai. Sad. But it is the citizens who live there who should take the matters into their hands.

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