Decongesting to congest
Editorial

Decongesting to congest

January 20, 2020

Bengaluru, globally glorified as a Garden City with salubrious weather with its name Bangalore until not too long ago, attracted numerous people to the city nearly doubling its population in a decade and continuing to increase. Mysuru, also glorified as Heritage City and Pensioners’ Paradise with its earlier identity as Mysore, has already started going Bengaluru way, having attracted people from elsewhere to take residence in the city. The rapid rise in the population of both cities and consequently motorised vehicles on the road serving as their personal transport are leading to massive traffic congestion and sluggish commutation to work and back.

It has been estimated that a whopping 600 million man hours are wasted every year by Bengalureans apart from burning petrol and diesel during stoppage at traffic signals, not to forget increased susceptibility to diseases caused by vehicular pollution of air. Mysureans are currently getting the taste of the plight that Bengaluru’s residents have brought upon them over years. Many steps have been taken to decongest the capital city, such as laying Ring Roads, constructing Flyovers and Bypasses, Metro Rail service and so on but with limited impact.

Karnataka State Government recently floated a proposal to create a new city near Kolar Gold Fields, 100 kms from Bengaluru with plans to relocate around a fifth of its population. The other option for decongesting Bengaluru as well as Mysuru (when the latter city gets choked) is to expand their areas, which is happening, but amounts to only putting off the remedy to address congestion.

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Pondering over the issue of transforming the congested cities to livable ones can take one to blind alleys, if not result in confused thinking on whether options exist and which option succeeds. Residents, who are at the receiving end of the many consequences resulting from taking residence driven by various attractions cities offer are stressed in certain ways while the civic bodies are waging a losing battle in mitigating the hardship of citizens with no place to go except where they think they belong. Doctors who are using the phrase ‘age-related ailments’ to explain the medical status of the elderly may soon be using phrases ‘urban life related disease’ and ‘rural life related diseases’, the former caused by indulgence and the latter by ignorance.

Now that the road connecting Bengaluru and Mysuru is heading to be a multi-lane Highway reducing time of road journey between the two cities by half, Mysuru is heading to host more people and consequently more automobiles creating condition that Bengaluru is suffering. Call it congestion or whatever, the idiom “What cannot be cured must be endured” is appropriate for the inevitable happening.

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