Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Pass that ‘Underpass’…

Underpass at Cauvery junction is finally ready, I see the BBMP folks getting out of the stress for planning, execution and most importantly Public relations abode. 3 days to 33 days, a symbolic situation which has raised many questions on capabilities, competence and completion of govt initiatives.

No, I don’t want to start over blame game as the topic is chewed off so much already, but the question is what have we as a system have learnt from this episode(pardon my unified expectations). Few questions at large…

Will we ever plan our public utilities and infrastructure better?

Will the Govt. Machinery ever use professional approach, structured planning methods and enhance communication by and between departments?

Will citizens continue to bear the escalated costs and fiscal burdens for the inefficiencies and ill-accountability within govt departments and scholar bureaucrats finally?

Will people vote for ‘citizen satisfaction’ as a parameter in elections for political parties?

Will they throw us out?

While we are talking about all the things that are wonderful about this absolutely mindblowing city, I think it is time to take a pause and look at one of the headlines last week that managed to shake me of my comfort zone.

Will you prefer to fly out of Bangalore after March 30th 2008?

The vacation planning to Mumbai is overdue for my family, the reason my reservations to fly from BIAL. Looking at the time and cost estimate I am still confused whether to fly or catch the train. Here are few points to ponder..

Time Factor > The access to the HAL airport currently takes 15 minutes for me from Indira Nagar, this time will be history once the new BIAL opens post march and closes down all passenger flights out of HAL (as per the contract I understand) the new airport is almost 35-40 kms from my house that will eat up atleast two hours for travel. Essentially this means I can not take early morning flights that will not be of any advantage anymore. The air travel is usually taken to ‘save’ time of travel and the BIAL is taking ‘passengers for a ride’ for sure on the ‘time’ factor.

Cost factor > for the present HAL airport it takes me just 50 rupees by auto or Rs.125 by a call taxi. To use the new airport I will have to shell out atleast Rs 600 for a call taxi minimum and completely forget using auto. Knowing the ‘nature’ of private taxi operators to take passenger for granted this cost would easily end up around Rs.800-1000. Reaching airport thus becomes costlier than the airline ticket (that I am used to pay Rs.500/600 if booking is done two months in advance )which I certainly will not ‘agree’ to pay just because someone singed a contract with BIAL without taking general public views / reactions into consideration. It is also learnt that BIAL has sent a proposal to the Union civil aviation ministry seeking to levy use a development fee of Rs 675 on outgoing domestic travelers, which makes me wonder why??

Essentially this ‘arrangement’ of a large airport would have a major impact on domestic travel for both family and business travelers. The business travel which ‘prefers’ the same-day-return travel to save on accommodation cost, this now looks a distant possibility! On the other hand this BIAL can get going good for international travel as it is more pre-planned and these time and cost factors may not have major bearing there…

I am yet to get the grip on this ‘new airport’ arrangement for domestic travel due to these aforesaid practical reasons. I feel BIAL has just lost one customer for sure before it even starts its operation, what say??

The return of SM Krishna

Over the last couple of days this is probably the news that most Bangaloreans have been eagerly tracking. The return of SM Krishna to active politics. When SM Krishna ceased to be the Chief Minister of Karnataka after his party failed to garner the required majority, a lot of people thought that Bangalore would lose as a result of he not continuing as the Chief Minister. A lot of them today would say it indeed has been like that.

So should & will SM Krishna return as the CM?

The Sweet 16 and Those Fancy Ringtones!!

Perhaps the recent ‘fatwah’ may not be welcomed in the ‘under16′ sphere, The Govt banning mobiles for under 16 seems to have shattered their latest game tool, those SMSs, the fancy ring tones and few calls to buddies in the other class….on the other hand , All but true ’emergency reach’ for few parents to let their kids get ‘armed’ with mobiles so that they can track their moves, their whereabouts!! Ok, the debate seems to go from the fact when..

The State government has decided to restrict children under 16 years of age from using cell phones. Cell phones will be banned in the premises of education institutions up to Standard XII. Besides cell phone companies will be directed not to sell cell phones to children below the age of 16 years. Refer..

The Reasons stated as …

The government took this decision following recommendations from doctors that use of cell phones would have adverse effects on physical and mental growth of children.

Few humble thoughts cross my mind…..Now that the equipment is declared hazardous why can’t they try and protect the same humans which grow over 16 and continue to get exposed to them all the way upto their old age….is there any real scientific evidence to prove this? If there is an attempt to have them checked before the use is permitted for public at large??
If and only if, this is true then the ban should be for all as after all the radiation ( which seem to be the factor) can travel any direction and can be a health hazard even if anyone near by and not only limited to the person who owns it, thus they should ban cell phone use all such locations where kids do play, participate and commute!! This will then ensure govt actually intents to protect the kids from this hazard …..

The telecom industry growing at sucha pace will surely contain such ‘fatwahs’ with their effective lobbies and extended bodies and soon this one will die aside like few many that includes ‘one family one car’ or the ‘egg or banana in school’……What say???

G for Grants…

Real Estate, truly the ‘real’ estate to amass… with news on stray site allotments, it’s proven again that the ‘worthiness’ of proximities go beyond the credentials.

Chief ministers seem to have this penchant for doling out stray sites to their ‘people’ before laying down office. To ‘site’ an example: The J H Patel government did it: extending this largesse to politicians, cooks, personal assistants, drivers and peons. says the report

Less said the better for the MP’s and MLA’s multiplying their declared asset base in just one year, surpassing the ‘normal’ expectations. With such successful ‘businessmen’ around economy of scale can be easily assumed!!

It’s no longer NICE!!

In an another pact of wisdom countering the NICE, State govt is all set to nullify an agreement signed in August 2002 with the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE), promoter of the Bangalore-Mysore Expressway Project. With the annulment of the agreement, the land at 10 major interchanges along the proposed expressway will not be available to the NICE. Refer for More…

The city which witnessed random and rapid growth over last decade have two significant projects one being NICE and another BIAL, the Bangalore International Airport, both the projects run into major risk of non completion due to the complex nature of Govt support in and around land acquisitions. Never the less the first project already ran into controversies and risk of non utilization to general public over the red Tapisum now, with systematic no-support via political and babudom arenas, the second project ( BIAL) may see delays in operation due to the access road situation.

Surprisingly both these projects hover around the disagreements over ‘Land’ acquisition and ‘real estate’ aspects and defining true beneficiaries! All this in the name of public who keeps struggling to survive through lesser infrastructure and have no option but to keep ‘Tolerating’ or ‘Swalpa adjust madi’ attitude!! What Say??

Got some SKIL ?

Is that the question state government is asking these days for infrastructure projects coming up on Bangalore’s periphery!? Consider these. We have heard so much about SKIL Infrastructure getting Nandagudi SEZ approved. Next, newspaper reports suggest the same firm is pushing for 3 more similar projects:

” While for the Solur SEZ (Bangalore Rural district), the company has sought 7,287 acres, and for Ramanagaram, it will require 4,013 acres. SKIL has also sought 4,182 acres at different places around Bangalore to develop 188 km of an intermediate ring road.”

And now, a consortium called GIC, which includes SKIL, is asking to take over BMIC project. When a single entity gets so much prominence so quickly, questions come naturally. They can’t be the only infrastructure builder willing to bet on Bangalore growth story, can they?

No place like home


Nearly half a century after they were thrown out homes and after having become an integral part of Karnataka’s chow-chow baath of people, they still yearn to go back home. Tibetans striking in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue.

Gabbar District!!

Famous Ramgarh of Gabbar Singh( Where Sholay was shot in 1971) will now become a district, will make its debut on Independence Day.

As per the 2000 Indian census, Ramanagara had a population of 79,365. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Ramanagaram has an average literacy rate of 63%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 67%, and female literacy is 58%. In Ramanagaram, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Along with Ramanagaram, Chikballapur in Kolar district will be carved out as a district on August 15, with the cabinet clearing both the proposals on Thursday. With this, the number of districts in the state will go up to 29. It is said Rs 72.58 crore had been earmarked for infrastructure for Ramanagaram and Chikballapur districts.

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