BENGALURU: Developing satellite towns at par with cities by providing better infrastructure will lessen the burden on major cities of Karnataka, and thus there can be uniform development across the state, feel experts.
At present, the state’s population is 6.25 crore, of which 1.25 crore are in Bengaluru. The rural population is moving to urban centres in search of jobs and livelihood. This has led to a steep increase in demand for better infrastructure facilities in cities. The state government is investing in boosting infrastructure in cities, the rural areas are not receiving the same attention. With an increasing burden on Bengaluru with a spike in human and vehicle population, there is a need to decrease that burden by boosting infrastructure.
Urban infrastructure expert V Ravichandar said that for overall development of Karnataka, better road connectivity to reach smaller towns is a must. “It is happening in the state to some extent. But infrastructure for the state and that for Bengaluru city are not the same. In fact, the road connectivity is better in the state compared to Bengaluru. The city is overburdened,” he said.
Ravichandar suggests that Karnataka should be divided in to six zones with a major city in that zone acting as the zonal anchor, while the surrounding smaller cities can be considered for development as satellite cities. “There is a need to develop satellite cities. If we improve them, investments will flow in. At the same time, airports in Mysuru, Belagavi, Mangaluru, Hubballi need to be used more frequently with more flights,” he said.
He also suggests improving tourism infrastructure. This sector is providing jobs for 8-10 per cent of the people. Along with physical infrastructure, social infrastructure like education, health facilities, parks and playgrounds will create a good environment for the investors, he says. With investments and job creation, cities, particularly Bengaluru, can be made more liveable.
According to K Ravi, president, Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce & Industry, urban infrastructure is poor in the state with the exploding human and vehicle population. “There is no planning. Though there is no shortage of funds, there’s no proper utilisation of them. More people are migrating from rural areas to cities in search of livelihood. How much can a city accommodate?’’ he asks.
Ravi stresses the need for political will. “People in the government should execute what they plan. The government should focus on satellite townships that should be made attractive with better facilities like Metro connectivity, and water and power connections. The satellite towns should be easily accessible from the city centre. People will move to these townships for better air and environment if better connectivity is provided,” he says.