BENGALURU: Bengaluru has been included in the list of cities to be developed under the Smart City project, but a lot of ground needs to be covered to make the city smart and improve living conditions.
Unending traffic congestion on the city roads, failure to find a lasting solution to solid waste management, pollution of lakes by discharge of untreated sewage and reduction in green cover are some of the issues that the government needs to address on a war-footing. Though these are not part of the initiatives to be taken up under the Smart City project, civic experts and members of residents’ welfare associations say without addressing these basic issues, Bengaluru can never be smart city.
With an area of 800 sqkm and a population of over 1.2 crore, mobility and waste management have become top issues that need immediate attention. Though BBMP claims they are moving towards technology-enabled waste management, it is not seen on the ground.
N Ramakanth, member of BBMP’s Solid Waste Management Committee, said that despite attempts to dispose waste scientifically, nexus of garbage contractors, officials and elected representatives is proving to be a hurdle.
Environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy said, “On one hand, we are destroying eco-vitals, including trees, lakes, thereby reducing the quality of life. How can we pat ourselves on the back with the Smart City tag? The city will not become smart without greenery.”
Manjunath C of Nagarbhavi Residents Forum said the state government is spending crores on TenderSURE roads which usually see VIP movement. “We need pothole-free roads, good footpaths. People can’t be fooled with the ‘smart’ tag when there is no good infrastructure. Thousands of vehicles are being added every day, but where are the parking facilities? With the quality of life deteriorating, the smart city name is just vain glory,” he said.
Most localities on the outskirts do not get Cauvery water. “We depend on private tankers,” said Neeraja, a resident of Yelahanka New Town.
What needs to be done
Decongest city roads
Improve quality of roads, footpaths
Stop discharging untreated sewage into lakes
Retain city’s green cover, better water supply, make policing more effective, Put in place a proper system to handle soild waste