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Updated: April 19, 2010 19:18 IST

A dead city?

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Geetanjali Srikantan
Geetanjali Srikantan

Geetanjali Srikantan feels that breaking the city into smaller units is the only way to salvage it

I was surprised when I learnt that Bangalore was being rated as the fourth most liveable city in the country. Liveable is not an adjective that one can use to describe this former seat of colonial indulgence. India's “Silicon Valley” is another adjective that leaves one gasping with incredulity as to what Bangalore could have in common to San Francisco, except for a population of non-resident Indians. A cursory glance at travel guides of African countries, describing unlit streets, frequent power cuts, stray dog attacks are better at describing the state of affairs as far as Bangalore is concerned.

To begin with, our city that aspires to be Singapore some day soon cannot provide residents' round-the-clock water supply. The city roads have pavements that resemble hillocks or craters and motorists riding on footpaths meant for pedestrians, which makes jaywalking, a major offence in many countries almost mandatory. Not to forget the frequent power cuts.

Historians and urban experts have blamed most of the problems that the city encounters on poor urban planning, which has been anti-poor and needs more transparency.

They fail to take into account that most of the issues that the city faces affect all sections of society, almost uniformly.

You have affluent neighbourhoods lacking civic amenities and functional street lights, much like their middle class and poor counterparts.

In order to understand Bangalore's problems, we need to take into account its colonial past. We need to think about going local instead of making an attempt to create a grand cosmopolitan. Being a small town may do a sea of good for this city.

Do you have anything to say? About the state of the world, the city, your angst? Pen it stylishly and you might get it published. And dash off your piece with your photograph. Email it to bangmetro@gmail.com or post it to MetroPlus, The Hindu, 19 & 21, Bhagwan Mahaveer Road (Infantry Road), Bangalore 1.

Keywords: Bangalore

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