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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Chips Are Down

Bangalore, India's software garden, is on the blink

Chips Are Down
Chetan Kumar
Chips Are Down
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
If one goes by the hype, Bangalore is all that a city should be. It has a history as the Eden among cities, an urban idyll with quiet streets and red-tiled abodes to which you would like to retire. Then came the silicon infusion. Now the favoured sobriquet is ‘funky town’—a hip ’n happening domain that is young, vibrant and teeming with 1,10,000 software pros. But does the reality on the ground match the hype? Ask any Banglorean and he will wring his hands in despair and tell you the city is a living hell.

The home page does not measure up to the portal’s contents. Imprudent planning has brought forth chaos and misery for the denizens of this so-called high-tech city. The urban facilities have been stretched to such an extent that they are crumbling. Road accidents are on the rise. Drains overflow. Public transport is nearly non-existent. Water and power remain erratic. This year, more than 200 cases of dengue, about 1,500 cases of gastroenteritis and high incidence of asthma, malaria and tuberculosis have been recorded.

Old-timers talk of the decay of their city with angst. Says Malaini Deekshit, general manager (HR), Hinduja tmt, who has lived in Bangalore since the ’80s: "I remember passing traffic intersections without either a constable or a signal. Now, traffic piles up even at small junctions. I have to drive for an hour and 45 minutes to reach our office near Electronic City." Agrees Vasu Krishnamurthy, director, Allegro Capital Advisors: "Basically, no town planning has been done, so things are done in a haphazard manner. For a city named the Silicon Valley of India, infrastructure, a basic requirement, is dismal."

Not just the common man, even the top bosses are giving up on Bangalore. Sample this broadside from Azim Premji, chairman of WIPRO: "We have no plans at this point of time to use this (Bangalore) facility for a...

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