Has Mysuru gone Bengaluru way?—2: A Boom City that went Burst
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Has Mysuru gone Bengaluru way?—2: A Boom City that went Burst

December 22, 2021

[Continued from Dec.15]

By R. Chandra Prakash

Bangalore, in many ways, is unlike the other great cities of India. Most of the other cities in India remind one certainly of the present, certainly of the future but essentially of the past. But Bangalore, as I said, more than any other great city of India is a picture of the future… — Jawaharlal Nehru, July 17, 1962

Nehru’s appreciation was justified. Bangalore of pre-nineteen eighties was indeed “in many ways, …unlike other great cities of India. However, as explained earlier, things were fast changing, and changing beyond Nehru’s prediction! India Today 15th April 1983 issue focused on Bangalore as The Boom City of the country.  However, the two consecutive decades — 1990s and 2000 — changed the entire edifice of Bengaluru. Economic Policy of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation [LPG], during 1990s stimulated the growth of large private sector units and thousands of ancillary and small units supporting them, in and around Bengaluru. The city was stormed by an influx of economic activities. As if that was not enough, the global fear of Y2K became a stimulant in the growth of Information Technology [IT] units in Bengaluru. Quick solution from Bengaluru to the Y2K fear not only prevented the IT crisis all over the world, but it also created a second Silicon Valley of the world in Bengaluru.

The demand for housing was so rapid and high that the existing residential layouts were overrun. People started to let their spare accommodations for making money. Factories and Offices also demanded greater land spaces. The demand for land outpaced the availability within the planned residential, commercial and industrial areas. Consequently the villages adjoining the city automatically became the extended part of the city without even waiting for formal inclusion within the city planning area.

With a fantastic growth rate of 76 percent in the last decade, Bangalore has outstripped the 12 other cities in the country which have a population of more than 10 lakhs. Only Jaipur with 57 percent and Delhi with 56 percent come anywhere close to matching Bangalore’s phenomenal growth rate. The percentage growth for the other nine cities in the last decade was — Pune: 48, Ahmedabad: 43, Hyderabad: 40, Nagpur: 39, Bombay: 37, Madras: 34, Kanpur: 32, Calcutta: 30, and Lucknow: 23. The all-India average for cities was 46 percent. Bangalore is now estimated to be among the first 10 fastest growing cities in the world.

The Kiss of Death

The negative impacts on the garden city were very severe. City planning gave way to post-facto absorption of chaotically grown adjoining villages into the city folds. City planning became a misnomer. Density of population graph had hit the north pole! Once the compromise on planning was forced, it laid the foundation for corruption and huge unplanned growth of buildings of all kinds. Land mafias made their diabolic presence. Residential zones got merged with the commercial and industrial complexes. Open spaces and gardens started to vanish. Sanitation and hygiene were out of gear. The presence of State Government in this capital city, instead of becoming a controlling point, seemed to have become an accomplice in the fast deteriorating conditions. A Garden City systematically got converted into a Garbage City !

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The consequences of such unprecedented growth of Bangalore was not unknown to the authorities. As apprehended by Ramakrishna Hegde, the then Chief Minister of the State, Bangalore did continue to explode haphazardly and the boom did bring it such a prosperity which did become its Kiss of Death!

If immediate action is taken to control the crazy, unplanned growth of the city, it would be possible to make this city liveable. Otherwise, it may go the way of other big cities. We must regulate Bangalore’s growth. Or else, if Bangalore continues to explode haphazardly, the boom that brought it so much prosperity may easily be the kiss of death. — The then Chief Minister R.K. Hegde

Hosur’s Growth and Its Impact

Tamil Nadu Government had correctly assessed the crucial location and growth prospects of Bangalore quite early, as early as in 1970s. It put up Industrial Estate at Hosur, located at the periphery of Bangalore and its borders with Karnataka State. Making use of the financial and infrastructural incentives available in this Industrial Estate and also because the advantages of the airport facility and residential facilities in neighbouring Bangalore, a large number of industries started to locate themselves in Hosur. Over a period, Hosur went on to develop into a very large industrial complex. Its growth heavily taxed the infrastructural facilities available in the city of Bangalore.

Government of Karnataka was lethargic in countering the attractions provided by the Tamil Nadu State in Hosur Industrial complex. Consequently, Hosur and Tamil Nadu bolted with a very fast economic growth in the area. Whereas, Bangalore was burdened by the influx of population and traffic without much revenues either to the city’s municipal administration or to the State exchequer. Tamil Nadu gained at the cost of Karnataka!  Tamil Nadu’s gain was Karnataka’s huge loss.

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Twin Blunders

There are multiple factors which have resulted in the downfall of Bengaluru during the past 25 years. But here we will analyse two main factors only. These are the factors which would have prevented Bengaluru from becoming highly congested and losing its grandeur of the past.

First, the dropping of Bangalore-Mysore NICE Corridor Project. During the later part of 1990s, Karnataka Government entered into an agreement with the Nandi Infrastructure Company to build under PPP model a new road linking Bangalore with Mysore to relieve the traffic congestion on the existing State highway between the two important cities of the State. This new road was to by-pass Kanakapura, Malavalli and reach Mysore via Bannur. It was a grand plan which would have benefited both Bangalore and Mysore. Idea was to develop these two cities as twin cities like Mumbai and Pune had become due to a new Express Highway link.

A lot of enthusiasm was generated by this project. The land acquisition rights were also granted to the company and the company started to acquire the land. Suddenly the project got stalled due to the disputes regarding the road alignment at several places. Government and the Company got into legal tangle. And the PPP gradually got into cold storage. There were a lot of stories floating thereafter. Some alleged that some lands belonging to a big political family caused it, some stated that the percentage of commission to be given to the decision facilitators was the cause, some said that the competing enterprises sabotaged the entire project by planting discord between the politicians and the PPP developers and so on. Consequence was legal battles and total end of this very ambitious project that could have saved Bangalore from its present situation.

Just imagine for a moment, had this project got through as scheduled, Mysore would have grown into another industrially well developed city of the State and the country. Lack of political sagacity and corruption at the top level killed this project as also the prospects of smooth growth of two important cities! And the Central Government need not have spent rupees nine thousand crores on expansion of Mysore Highway which it is doing now and the two cities would have had the advantage of two Highways servicing them, instead of only one! The opportunity cost of such irrational decision to drop the NICE Economic Corridor project have been tremendous, both in financial terms and in terms of economic development.

9 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Has Mysuru gone Bengaluru way?—2: A Boom City that went Burst”

  1. S Prakash says:

    Dear Sir, the present topic made me to write my opinion as a concerned citizen.
    Who is responsible for this situation? After the establishment of First BJP Government one of the BJP MLA is responsible for this situation. He is the master mind in conversion of 5000 acres of the agricultural land into Non-agricultural purpose. Thanks to the elected representatives for feigning deafening silence about the massive conversion of agricultural land into private layouts. Because they also got benefitted. The Brother of the elected representative (BJP) has major stakes in the land conversion. It is alleged that he owns nearly 5000 acres of DC converted land and out of which nearly 2000 acres have been sold to private developers. In this process ruling, opposition MLA’s, officials inclusive of incumbent Dy. Commissioners, (who have reported after the establishment of first BJP lead Government) have made money. The DC who converted the land into non-Agriculture purposes used his delegated powers and permitted for conversion, without bothering about the outcome of such conversion. Since every conversion is done legally, he is not at fault. The then Chairman MUDA issued NOC for all private layout proposals, keeping his eyes shut and not bothering about the future of Mysore. Because that was a God-given opportunity for him to collect the investment that he has made to occupy that coveted post. To give justice to the private layouts (sprang up in the rural areas of Mysore TQ) developed by the MLA’s brother and other sharks, the duty bound MLA proposed for Ring Road, outer peripheral road, Greater Mysore Plan so that the private layouts could be brought under the ambit of MUDA and the private developers can double their investments. Because of this plan, MUDA is forced to spend on arterial roads connecting the private layouts to the Ring Road and peripheral Road. It has no money to upkeep its own layouts. Who has foreseen the demand for such residential plots? Is there any demand for plots? No. No takers, large inventory of plots exists. Because, Mysore has no massive Industrial development, no spurt in the population of the City. Naturally no demand. Because of the greedy politicians, supported by corrupt bureaucrats, City is bursting and crying for amenities. Yet MUDA wishes to add salt to the wound by proposing for vertical development, because the present incumbent has to get back his investments. This is the sad story of our Mysore City.

  2. Never Presto Questo says:

    This member of that barmy outfit called MGP, the grahachara crowd, writes nonsense, without looking at the reason why Bengaluru was destroyed by 1970s. The 3 large factories-BEL, HMT and ITI, funded by the Centre, was located near the city perimeters then to attract Tamils, Malayalees and Andhras as so called engineers-mostly engineering diploma holders to work and live in the city. The percentage of Kannadigas who worked in these factories and the smaller factories and companies that emerged employed almost no Kannadigas. If you want to blame some one blame Jijalingappa and his Lingayat successors, who were from the newly integrated Maharashtra regions that made up:’Karnataka’ did not care for Bengaluru as the Garden City. You see now that all the above large factories have hit the dust. Even those who arrived later like the NGEF folded by 1990s. But masses of Tamils and Malayalees remained and more of them arrived ushering more city extensions, more vehicular traffic and more pollution. The city was destroyed totally.
    Bengaluru- second Silicon Valley says this deluded author without understanding that Silicon Valley in California was developed for IT innovation and Bengaluru in its IT sweatshops like Infosys did the cheap IT coolie work to develop software codes for the companies in the above Silicon Valley. No invention. Green fields in Bengalauru and Mysuru were almost donated to these IT sweatshops. Money changed hands. Kannada vanished as the spoken language in the capital city of Karnataka!
    Even before the broad gauge rail track between Bengaluru and Mysuru, and before the highway, Mysuru, factories and companies swamped the city escaping expensive Bengaluru. By early 1980s, Mysuru registered more than a dozen housing extensions, spilling into Chamundi Hill foot area, Bannimantap etc.. Mysuru, the Royal City was gone. It is worth pointing out that the members of this barmy MGP, who are howling now about Chamundi Hill destruction and city destruction were the ones, who were retirees and who caused the uneven expansion of Mysuru by settling in the newly created extensions.
    Now wait for very large Malayalee influx in the next decade, when the Kerala -Mysuru rail and road links are established. This time, it will be the crime kingpins who are smugglers of gold and who are fake good manufacturers, well versed in their business in the Gulf States. By then Mysuru will be a Middle East tourist hub linking to the Gulf States by air, and the play ground for the above crime kingpins .
    Kannada will be a minority language.

  3. Gautam says:

    Agree that this Chandra Prakash retired from a college in Mysuru writes esoteric crap. It appears he never visited Bengaluru when it was destroyed by the 3 large factories, and later by the IT companies which started doing the cheap IT outsourced work, exploiting the massive differential between USD and Indian Rupees, where for a US programme’s salary, they could employ 10 Indian programmer, making them IT coolies.
    Bengaluru was totally destroyed by Tamils and Malayalees who took top jobs in the factories mentioned by the poster above, and in turn brought their own engineers who as said were mere engineering diploma holders rejecting good engineering degree holders from Bengaluru and elsewhere in the state of Karnataka. Large swathes of Malleswaram went to Tamils and Malayalees owning homes, and where Kannada was not spoken. The Congress High Command at the Centre simply neutralised the state Congress Government.
    Mysuru now is ready for large Malayalee occupation within the next 5 years. Behind the proposed rail and road links to Mysuru from Kerala are the 2 powerful Congress politicians who have Kerala constituencies. They are: Sashi Tharoor and Rahul Gandhi. Siddaramaiah will be made to shut up. The weak Veerashiva CM, Basavaraj Bommai, is no match for the determined Malayalaee politicians. PM Modi is not objecting to these rail and road links as the BJP wants to win more seats in Kerala. The Tamils are also interested as MK Stalin their CM thinks that Mysuru area is worth sending more Tamils, who in turn will fight for sharing Cauvery water more for Tamil Nadu.
    What seems to be alarming, is the plan by Malayalee crime barons, who control gold smuggling to India from the Gulf states. They are also into the domestic slave racket for Sheikh households in Gulf states by supplying Kerala women as domestic slaves there, and also construction workers who are made to work 12 hours a day there. These crime barons see Mysuru with its weak local government and the weak state government of the BJP, as an opportunity to flood the city and surrounding areas with families of Malayalees who are into their business.
    Within 5 years, the Mandakalli Airport will be serving passenger jets from the Gulf states, where it will be easier for the smuggling activities unlike the Kempegowda Airport in Bengaluru.
    Mysuru population then will be tribled , and these rich Malayalees launder their money through the establishment of legal medium size companies and factories by financing them in the Mysuru district areas.
    Yes, the victims are local Kannadigas, and Kannada language which will be a minority language in the city where Kuvempu lived! What an Irony!!

  4. Gautam says:

    Corrections: “Programmers” ” trebled”

  5. Gusto says:

    The Gulf States have preponderance of Indian Muslims, mostly from Kerala, and they are the villains in the gold smuggling, domestic slavery racket to bring women to serve their Muslim brethren ,the Sheikhs.
    So, when the Mysuru gets swamped by these Malayalees, a large percentage of them will be Kerala Muslims, who are the crime barons. Get ready for Muslim immigration to Mysuru, and the build of large mosque!

  6. BJP ge Jai says:

    Mr. Gautam , Never Gusto presto. Are you a fool? You sound like a fool..

  7. Parishottama says:

    Good that Mysore did not go Bangalore way. Let the intermediate cities be ” developed” firsr

  8. Gautam says:

    Mysuru had already gone Bengaluru way. It happened in 1980s. Just look at the road traffic, the many extensions etc. .the population increase to 4 times what Mysuru was. It has not been the Royal city for decades .
    @BJP , you sound like the garlic munching Yedi the Cheddi or his disciple Basavaraj Moustache Bommai May be even Congress Sonia’s slave, who knows! You are in total delusion. Omicron hit you?
    Start leaning Malayalam quickly.
    It does not bother me any way, because I do not live in your third world country any more.

  9. Shantala says:

    It does not take a genius to realise that Mysuru went Bengaluru way by early 1990s.. It has been clear to some one like who was born and brought up in this city that by late 1980s, my parents were aghast the fat pace of destruction of forests around the city perimeter and replacing them with housing colonies, and petrol driven vehicles became the personal transport of choice for house holds, respiratory and chest infections soared and private hospitals in their dozens mushroomed.
    The announcements of the bullet train between Chennai-Mysuru, together with the proposed links from Kerala, have only one objective-flooding Tamilians and Keralites to the city, particularly the towns and villages surrounding Mysuru which Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments think sparsely populated and ready for settlement of their citizens, as these 2 states are running out of space. The push is coming from the Congress too, particularly Wayanad MP : Rahul Gandhi. The Tamilnadu and Keraa CMs, see the Karnataka government as weak , and are lobbying PM Modi
    No need to be abusive for stating the fact that the gold smuggling Keralite gangs, want to spread out to invest their illegally-acquired funds , and see Mysuru as a prime place to do this.

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