The one issue that needs immediate attention in Bengaluru is traffic. The roads are clogged, and if we allow this kind of growth in traffic, both of four-wheelers and two-wheelers, we will be in serious trouble in the coming years. Besides traffic, the quality of roads and water scarcity also need attention.
I would like to see Bengaluru as a clean city with orderly traffic and people who exercise greater social responsibility. I see scant respect for people on the road and everywhere else. There is little in the form of behaviour that is appropriate and a rapid degeneration in the way people conduct themselves publicly. A change can be made by leading by example and I would urge our leaders in all spheres to lead by example.
We have a fantastic city in terms of industry and its growth. What we can do better is to enhance it in spheres of culture, art and music, by organising more music festivals and other cultural shows. We are fine when it comes to the availability of recreation facilities, restaurants and hotels, and other public conveniences, except public toilets and clean city spaces, especially footpaths, which can be much better maintained. The way Church Street has been modified proves what can be done if minds really work together.
I hope to see my country develop economically too and transform into a place where poverty has truly reduced, health and wellness take adequate priority, and where we are seen as a culture that grows with integrity, honesty and responsibility.
In order to solve traffic woes in the city, we could consider levying a fee to run cars on central and busy business districts and arterial roads. Encouraging carpooling during peak hours and staggering of office and school hours to ensure that they do not clash and create chaos on the road will be good steps.
Merely widening roads is not a solution. We need concerted civic action to ensure that the quality and speed of construction and repair of roads is appropriate. For example, land around Bangalore Palace has been acquired, and work should have been completed.
As for water issues, ensuring long-term solutions of getting water from other rivers and resources would be the way forward. Lakes should be governed by an independent body, and desilting, de-weeding and ensuring they remain uncontaminated is important. We must encourage sewage treatment plants and recycling.
Our leaders should look at how economic disparity can be reduced. Every citizen should be able to seek work. Schemes such as Ayushman Bharat are the right way forward and more such policies would be welcome.