By K. Sriram, Jt. Secretary – CREDAI
Whenever we try to analyse the growth of our city, we encounter several factors that have impacted its growth. The growth of a city depends on its ability to create employment and it usually comes from tourism, industry, services, educational institutions etc. Connectivity has been one of the biggest bug bears impacting our growth. In the tourism industry, the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector is growing at a healthy pace and our city is losing out on a lot of this business due to lack of proper connectivity. Same is the story with inbound international tourist groups.
Domestic tourists are also habituated to having a direct air-link to their destination and avoid destinations that have a long tiring road journey. Entrepreneurs wanting to set up shop here will first look at accessibility and many big corporates have for long rued the lack of proper connectivity to our city and have been averse to invest here. Many entrepreneurs are also impacted by the lack of skilled and disciplined man power in our city.
Rail connectivity: The Railways in our country is on a booster dose of testosterone and is looking at achieving efficiencies by employing a corporate approach to governance. The electrification and double lining of Bengaluru-Mysuru line is complete and trains have been speeded up. We have nineteen pairs of trains a day connecting the two cities. We need more trains that can make the journey between the cities under two hours.
Ten-lane Highway: Completion of four-lane Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway in 2004 saw the first real spike in development of our city by creating a fast corridor. This corridor is now choking with traffic and the situation is made worse by the absence of bypass roads for towns enroute. Shortly work is going to take off on a six-lane, access controlled expressway that will be flanked by a free access two-lane service road on either side to make it a ten-lane road. This Highway bypasses all the major towns.
UDAN scheme: Air connectivity has always been our biggest bugbear but thanks to the UDAN scheme by the Central government, we now have daily flights that are running to full capacity. Possibilities of a few more flights look very bright and it should be in place very soon. Thanks to the aggressive and forward thinking Union government, air connectivity to tier two and three cities are growing at an amazing pace. Hubballi and Mysuru were in a similar situation in 2017, with zero flight connectivity. Today Hubballi has flights to Bengaluru, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kochi and Goa served by Airbus and ATR fleets.
Just imagine if something like this happens to Mysuru, it will turn the economy of the city. Why just Hubballi even Belagaavi that is just an hour away by road from Hubballi has started receiving Airbus and Boeing flights. Looking at these examples, Mysuru that is a tedious four hours away from Bangalore Airport surely deserves enhanced connectivity.
Is Mysore prepared to take development?
A Mysurean is always aghast at the situation in our State capital. It has all the attributes of a failed city. When we speak of big development in Mysuru, it brings us horrific images of Indian cities that have been bitten by the reckless and greedy disease masquerading as development. We at Mysuru should look at development that will be sustainable in the long run.
We have excellent infrastructure in place with excellent broad roads, good water supply and drainage facilities. Mysuru has slipped on many of the surveys regarding, cleanliness, ease of living etc. Having studied the situation in many Indian cities that have been selected as part of the smart city mission, our city is far ahead of the others on all counts.
We have seen the arrival of many new employment generating industries in city over the last 12 months and we are on the verge of taming the vital connectivity conundrum that has for long impeded our growth. The huge national focus on ‘Make in India’ promises to make India with its demographic advantage the factory of the world and Mysuru is poised to get a decent chunk of this. The tourism industry is showing healthy growth and we are fast emerging as an education hub. Hence the growth of this city is certain but let us all dedicate ourselves to ensure that it will be a planned and sustainable growth.