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"Most of us don't ask questions, which is why things remain as they are. If you have the commitment to follow through on your work, you can change things."
- RK Misra

Bangalore May Get Bangalored

BANGALORED – The first time I saw this word was about 4 years ago while browsing through a magazine popular with IT folks in Bay Area of USA.

Casual chat with friends revealed that, when IT professionals in US lost their job due to down-sizing and outsourcing, they used this term to mean that “They have been Banglored (fired), their job has gone to Bangalore (India).”

Bangalore may face similar situation, where jobs may move to other cities or countries due to severe infrastructure inadequacy.

Government tries to give the impression of everything being normal – by giving the statistics of how many companies have registered in Karnataka or number of  investment proposals having been cleared by the government. But infrastructure situation is getting serious by the day. Almost everyone is fed-up with pot-holed roads and ever-increasing commuting hours. Situation has reached alarming proportions.

Brand Bangalore is taking a hit

In last 4 months, International Herald Tribune ran at least 5 stories on poor and deteriorating infrastructure of Bangalore. This is repeated in most international newspapers and magazines. All this bad publicity is certainly not helping ‘Brand Bangalore’

Business visitors to Bangalore want only one favor – ‘a hotel booking, closest to the office’. When these visitors go back, they do remember hours spent in traffic jams and back pain caused due to potholed roads. They will surely influence decision makers in their respective organizations, who are planning to shift or expand their operations in Bangalore.

While recent announcements from leading IT corporations to increase their investment and size of operations in Bangalore are heartening, these plans may get dramatically revised during detailed planning and evaluation of ground realities. No one would risk their investments in a choking city.

It took 20 years for Bangalore to establish its brand, but it may take just 5 years to lose it if we do not make significant improvement to Bangalore’s infrastructure.

Sense of Urgency is missing

Our city planners are still taking a piecemeal approach. There is no sense of urgency.

Our civic agencies announce rewards for spotting a pothole and pat on their back after completing long delayed flyover, which usually remains underutilized due to poor planning.

A mega city like Bangalore needs comprehensive and coordinated planning and long-term infrastructure vision to cope with exponential growth.