A real estate boom that gobbled up trees and lakes, and miles of concrete have turned Bengaluru into a dusty heat island. The government must protect lung spaces. Restoration of Bengaluru’s tanks would improve the alarmingly low water table, and the wetlands would help wildlife thrive. As the lockdown brought an urban jungle to a standstill, peafowls and spotted deer ventured into the unusually quiet city, reminding urban folks that humans and animals must co-exist. It’s time to go back to the Garden City.
The pandemic gave us a taste of a world without schools. For lakhs of children in Karntaka’s schools, it meant being deprived of both education and nutrition. The midday meal scheme must be resumed. The government must start more English medium schools to make it easier for parents who put their kids in private schools just for the advantage they hope
English will give them
While the government has said it plans to overhaul primary health care, it must not forget tertiary care. Experts say a special budget would help in early detection and treatment of diseases such as cancer. They also say 2021 must be the year that telemedicine becomes available to rural and semi-urban areas to provide assistance for cardiac disease, which accounts for around a quarter of deaths
When the world is increasingly becoming grouped into digital communities, it is shocking that India doesn’t yet have data privacy or protection laws. There is also a need for better awareness among the public and law enforcement agencies and better implementation of laws such as the Information Technology Act to prevent and tackle cyber crime.
Even though commute times have come down this past year due to the pandemic, Bengaluru urgently needs transport to be commuter-friendly - both in terms of access and affordability. Urban transport must also be committed to reducing air pollution. Expansion of metro services, the introduction of the suburban rail, projects such as the Peripheral Ring Road, pedestrian-friendly, streets are the need of the hour. A cap on private vehicles too would go a long way in improving the air quality in Bengaluru
What to expect next year
The Yelachenahalli-Anjanapura metro line is awaiting formal launch, while Mysuru Road-Kengeri line will likely be flagged off mid-2021. A proposed line from Outer Ring Road to KIA expected to be approved.
The Arkavathy Layout project is expected to begin next year, with steps being taken to provide alternative land for those whose land was taken. Construction in Kempegowda Layout expected to begin.
After a long wait, the railway station near KIA is expected to open in the first week of January. Shuttle services will take passengers who alight at the station to the airport, which is just 3.4km away.
Upgradation of PHCs with high-tech facilities to begin. They are likely to function 24x7. Bed capacity to be increased from 6 to 12-20. There will be 3-4 doctors present.
Infrastructure to be ramped up at Jayadeva hospitals in Bengaluru, Mysuru, and Kalaburagi. Beds at Bengaluru hospital to be increased to 1,000 from 700, making it the largest heart care hospital in country.