Bangalore may be projected as a hi-tech cosmopolitan IT city, but somewhere in the convoluted crevices of its being, it still continues to remain, unplanned, organic and yes, unprofessional as the many villages or halli’s that surround it.
For example, who of us, who live in Bangalore have not found ourselves driving up a street only to find it blocked at the end by a large tent. Some festival, marriage, house warming party, or Lions club blood donation drive and the entire road is summarily barricaded. What? You wonder, did these guys actually apply for permission to do this? Do you actually get permission in this city to block a public road for personal use?
Another common sight is when a building is being constructed by the roadside. Expect the road to be half occupied by rubble, sand, bricks and debris, and I’m not talking about some tiny lane in the no-where of town, but places right in the heart of town, broad roads that see large amount of traffic. The construction material causes traffic jams for months together and no one does a thing. Again, from where does the builder get permission to occupy the road?
Come festival time and god help your ears. Recently in my neighbourhood, huge amplifiers and speakers began to blare music from 4 in the morning till well past 12 at night. The weekend is time when I unwind and relax, but this weekend it was not to be, rather, by mid day I was irritable with the constantly loud noise. Again, can you get permission to do play loud music like this and disturb the entire neighbourhood for such long hours?
Another thing I’ve come to notice and many would agree, if you see a newly asphalted road, a newly constructed drainage, a new footpath… keep watching… it has to be, and I mean it has to be … damaged for some reason within a month. After construction, someone will realize that a water pipe needs to be laid, a drain has clogged, a tree needs to be trimmed, or the quality of the work is so bad it gets washed away in the first rain. And so, you never see things properly maintained for long in the city. The city’s signature is broken, rundown, decrepit, loud, noisy and I find this strange, because most people in Bangalore, no matter what your position, are under tremendous work pressure and tense, and need to unwind, need a quiet place, need to have at least a small section of their lives stress free, but that never happens. This city of Bangalore, and it would probably be unfair if I said only Bangalore, for it seems to be the hallmark of many other city, sometimes seems to me like a runaway train, or an elephant run amok. Little sign of planning, little or no sign of processes, no professionalism, piecemeal, ad-hocism, impulse action, little or no collective thought, and this brings to the fore, the strange paradox of what we do professionally and how we live.
The thousands of IT companies spread across this city are probably engaged in millions of projects to develop applications, software’s, tools to put in place processes, streamline processes, reduce human intervention and automate processes, so that things are faster, smoother, efficient, planned, structured and yet, when we step out of our offices we see none of the fruits of our work. We, IT professionals do all these projects, offer all these solutions to customers cross the world, but back home, our government is not equipped enough to see the intelligence in implementing any of these solutions for the betterment of our lives, they lack the foresight and the ‘education’ and for me this is a paradox I am still trying to reconcile myself to.
Sometimes I wonder if anything at all can be done about this situation, cause, at some point it stops at a ‘education’ and ‘foresight’ and gets into this highly debatable and arguable domain of ‘culture’. Are we adequately ‘cultured’ and ‘developed’ enough to understand how technology can be leverage to catapult the city to the next level? To engage in planned urbanization that is less stressful. Sometimes I think the gaps, in every sense, are so wide and dark that it may take many many years.
I know this is a highly controversial topic and would love to have feedback from those reading this post.