PRESERVE THE OLD BANGALORE CITY
The Government of Karnataka realising the importance of infrastructure is giving top priority to infrastructural projects.A mega city project for the development of Bangalore has been announced with a huge allocation.International airport,Metro rail,Bridges,Under passes,Ring roads etc are worth mentioning.What worries us is the step mother treatment being rendered continuously to the Old City.
The old Bangalore city is known as the city's trade hub.It houses around thousands of traders dealing in different commodities,to name few as garments,Textiles,Steel utensils,Jewellery,Chemicals,
Bangles,Paper & Stationery.Electrical goods,Plastic items,Hardware & other essential commodities..Lack of basic amenties have not only been creating problems for thousands of traders,residents & tourists but it has hit hard to the commercial & industrial sector too , adversely affecting their livelihood..Time & again we have raised voices for the betterment of our old heritage city to be preserved in a more scientific way but results are not at the satisfaction level.It is high time that the Government finally takes the concrete steps for the upliftment of the entire belt in all the civic sectors.
Now the question arises."if the Government does everything, what are duties of an indivisual to the State?Shall we say that the citizen has merely to sit and enjoy the fruits of the labour of the State? It is not just the responsibility of the Government but citizens as well to come forward & contribute to their capacity towards the welfare of their areas but someone has to take the lead.The indivisuals must contribute the labour of their mind and body.Constituency M.Ps & M.L.As have done something but sufficient has to be done.It is the trumph of co-operative work.A large sum declared for the overall development must be seperated for the old heritage city & a special team consisting of Trade associations,Resident associations,Elected Representatives & other government officials must initiate make over plan for the Central Business District.What we need is perfect co-ordination between different Government agencies like BBMP,BWSSB,BESCOM,TRAFFIC & LAW ORDER POLICE DEPARTMENT,TELECOM DEPARTMENT * ABIDE ETC.The condition in patches are so worst that even people or traders visiting the old city say that they have a better civic amenties available in their respected places.Facts means nothing unless they are rightly understood,rightly related & rightly interpreted.
We need to act & that too speedy action is the need of the hour.Forget the past and let the experts come forward & with the help of reputed urban planners do something for our city.What we can do or get it done by the Government or Private sources are mentioned below..
*Constructions of more public or pay and use toilets.
*Construction of multi stori parking complexes.
* Restrict shops from display of their products outside their premises.
*New constructions/renovations should have ample parking spaces & rain water harvesting system.
*Proper maintainance of city market & available parking lots.
*Mini buses to be allowed in the city limits.
*Ban bullock carts & other slow moving transport mediums.
*Shift the transport companies to other spacious places.
*New scientific solutions to overflowing drains specially during the rains.
*Restriced parking in the congested lanes.
*Better co-ordination between the different Government agencies.
*Proper street lights to be installed.
*50 years old drainage systems to be changed.
*Prepaid auto counters to be set up.
*A mini garden to be developed in the area.
*Involve Resident and Trade Associations for speedy action & suggestions
*Metro stations are bound to come hence better usage of the land acquired .
Rebuilding the old city does not seem to happen but at least short term or medium term measures will ensure the free flow of traffic movement & hastle free trade.Metro Rail is also coming in the city but clear picture has to emerge.The plan is not with the public.Already a debate is going on pertaining to Metro Rail mess threatening High court & Vidhan Soudha etc..We like the dreams of future better than the history of the past..Wish Metro a good luck.
Shortage of basic amenties have resulted in the NRI's and Brand conscious people not visiting the old heritage city for business but with the active participation of the government and the citizens a complete make over will help a lot.It will motivate the morals of the traders & they
will have a last laugh and will be contributing more generously and happily to the exchequer as they will be having perfect environment to live and trade..There are no barriers that cannot be bridged except the ones men create in their own minds.The Government is the best judge of the requirements of the citizens,hence it shall do the needful..
Sajjan Raj Mehta
I.P.P. Karnataka Hosiery & Garment Association
Co-chman.State Taxes Committee.FKCCI