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‘Choke Bangalore and Karnataka will die’

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I believe Bangalore is being starved and under-resourced. Bangalore accounts for 60 per cent of Karnataka’s GDP. To me, it is simple: choke Bangalore and Karnataka will die.You need to invest in the city because its prosperity and success are Karnataka’s prosperity and success.

I have an agenda for the city. Bangalore is a global brand but except for a few parts, it does not look world-class. We have under-invested in many aspects of our city’s development, whether it is roads, water, power supply, garbage management or safety. We must be the most poorly lit city in the country. Our sewage and sanitation situations are appalling.

When Mahathir Mohammed [the then Malaysian Prime Minister] visited Bangalore in 1986, I was at the meeting where he said, “Bangalore is so beautiful! I want Kuala Lumpur to be like Bangalore.” Now, KL is miles ahead. Why are we not investing in all this and making Bangalore the 21st century city that it is? Money is being funnelled away into other things. My biggest wish and message to every MLA is: “Please focus on making your constituency world-class.”

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director, Biocon Ltd., and president, Bangalore Political Action Committee

(As told to Madhumathi D.S.)

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