BENGALURU: Developing satellite towns at par with cities by providing better infrastructure will lessen the burden on major cities of the state and thus there can be uniform development across Karnataka, 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 and towns. For this, the state government is investing in boosting infrastructure. However, 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 Karnataka to some extent. But infrastructure for Karnataka and infrastructure for Bengaluru are not the same. In fact, infrastructure like road connectivity is better in the state compared to Bengaluru City. Bengaluru is overburdened,” he said.
He suggests that Karnataka should be divided in six zones with a major city in that zone acting as the zonal anchor, while the surrounding smaller cities and towns can be considered for development as satellite cities for the anchor city. “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. People who are investing in these will make all the more difference,’’ 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 (FKCCI), urban infrastructure is poor in Karnataka with the exploding human and vehicle population. “The infrastructure facilities to facilitate them is not sufficient. There is no planning, no proper utilisation of funds. Also, there is shortage of funds. More people are migrating from rural areas to cities. With too many buildings coming up, people are coming from villages for their livelihood. Everyone wants to be in towns and cities. How much can a city accommodate?’’ he questions.
Ravi stresses the need to address traffic woes in cities. “There is a need to focus on mass transit system for which there is need for capital,” he says. “Getting funds is also a major challenge. Another major challenge is political will. People in the government should implement and execute what they plan. The state government should focus on satellite townships which should be made more attractive with better facilities like Metro connectivity, and water and power connections. There should be good education institutions. The satellite towns should be easily accessible to the city centre. “For better air and environment, people will move to these townships if better connectivity is provided. This holds good for tier-II cities too,’’ he says.Tier- II cities and satellite township should be at par with the Central Business District in terms of infrastructure and connectivity, he says.
6,572.15 km National Highways
20,144.85 km State Highways
49,740.17 km Major district roads
Is the capacity of Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd for hydel, thermal, solar and wind energy. 9,500 MW is in the pipeline