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Old 25th August 2009, 23:32   #46
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I did not mention Chennai because driving to Chennai is more feasible and predictable than taking a flight. And most people now prefer to drive to Chennai than to catch a flight.
In 2006 it used to be faster for me to drive from Anna Nagar in Chennai to Hosur Road Junction than taking the flight. Don't know how it is now. But onething is definitely there that the traffic has increased quite a bit.
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Old 26th August 2009, 07:56   #47
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Today's Pune news about the consequences of a quick and easy road widening - one ways!
For those who do not know the city - in the heart of the city there are two roads that run parallel at some distance from each other, for 2-3 kms. Both are reasonably wide already, with median strips, and one of them was widened a few years ago, by the usual slash and burn - it was one of the city's tree lined avenues. A third narrower and less trafficked road runs in between the two roads, parallel to both. With a lot of residences on it, as well on the many bylanes that connect the three roads, running perpendicular to the three.
Now the traffic police have implemented the brilliant idea of one ways to ease the congestion of vehicles on the two outer roads, now that further widening is not practical. What they have done is to create a huge roundabout, where one can only go in one direction, a roundabout that incorporates the two outer roads.
While the traffic flows have improved considerably - some hiccups, but these are just that - this is now a huge issue for non vehicle owners. The third narrower road and the bylanes now have a spike in vehicular movement as people attempt to find shorter routes to different part of the roundabout - the two roads are in a very developed city center, so there is a lot of commercial activity along the length of both the roads.
So, the residents on that road are agitated, and are demanding that the one way thing be dropped as a very bad idea.
Btw, in search of peace and to maintain my health, I have moved away from those parts of Pune, and my visits there are also now very rare - once in six months, if that. Because driving and parking there is a pain, and everything that is available there, is available closer to home. Now, if parking problems are addressed as well, I may revert to going there, until the same problem recurs, as it inevitably will. Would the city not have been in much better shape if none of the road widening of the last 20-30 years in the city center had been done? A lot of the politicos and road builders would have been a lot poorer is the only downside I can see!
I have already pointed out that with such moves, it becomes next to impossible for older people to cross the road. So what do residents that live there do as they get older? Even before that, why should they suffer the consequences of accomodating the swollen traffic? And the congestion was an excellent disincentive to people going there and finding alternatives instead, so why remove it?
This little drama is what is happening in Pune right now, and I am sure this story would be being replayed the length and breadth of the country in the big cities. Or even smaller ones, which are small only by Asian standards!
And as a corollary, what is happening here is no different from what happens when a large dam gets constructed.

Last edited by Sawyer : 26th August 2009 at 07:58.
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Old 26th August 2009, 08:46   #48
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Last i heard, it was the major tax breaks being given to the companies for setting up shop in Bangalore that made it lucrative (maybe most of the land in and around these business parks was owned by politicians (which is ofcourse speculation)). It would be unreal to expect the companies to let such an advantage go by.
I would be very surprised if tax breaks are given for settting up shop in Bangalore, it does not make sense of any kind for over ten years now. Now the personal politico connection, that is more likely the reason.
But granted that tax breaks are given, there is no reason for industry to not offet against that the other costs of operating in Bangalore. By those, I mean the hidden costs/losses of the poor infrastructure. And too, once you have taken those breaks, to then start cribbing about the poor infrastructure in a place that you have overburdened?
We love to criticize the government, but in reality it is all of us, participating fully in the tandava. That is why it continues, the dance.
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Old 26th August 2009, 10:25   #49
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Initially, it could have been the tax breaks, infrastructure etc., that attracted companies. Now its all about people. It has reached a stage where the lure of right kind of skilled people scores over everything else.

Of course there are a lot of skilled people from outside. Though, I remember during early nineties companies loved being in Bengaluru (wipro, infosys) for the skill they would get locally (BEL, ITI, CDOT etc.,). I am from among them.

Which government in this country provides continuous power in one city while maintaining power cuts throughout the state? And people don't crib about it?
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Old 26th August 2009, 10:33   #50
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I would be very surprised if tax breaks are given for settting up shop in Bangalore, it does not make sense of any kind for over ten years now. Now the personal politico connection, that is more likely the reason.
But granted that tax breaks are given, there is no reason for industry to not offet against that the other costs of operating in Bangalore. By those, I mean the hidden costs/losses of the poor infrastructure. And too, once you have taken those breaks, to then start cribbing about the poor infrastructure in a place that you have overburdened?
We love to criticize the government, but in reality it is all of us, participating fully in the tandava. That is why it continues, the dance.
You need to read the fine print to make sense of the tax breaks.

Are you serious about the companies trying to offset their loss against tax breaks?? The loss from poor infrastructure can not be greater than the loss from NO infrastructure.

Yes we love to criticize the government. Just like you love to criticize the companies. It is easy to take the high ground if your eyes are not on ground realities.
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Old 26th August 2009, 10:55   #51
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Which government in this country provides continuous power in one city while maintaining power cuts throughout the state? And people don't crib about it?
Clarify please, did not get the meaning. I know that in Maharashtra, many of the smaller places suffer extended power cuts, to keep those in the prominent cities at a minimum level.
@ Amit, would you say that Mysore is in the no infrastructure category?

Last edited by Sawyer : 26th August 2009 at 10:58.
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Old 26th August 2009, 15:47   #52
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The thing is, Indian companies also are a part of this spiral.
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While, to the best of my knowledge, Mysore languishes.
I quite agree with this statement. Govt did & still has tax benefits & other sops for setting up industries in undeveloped areas. But lack for resources (mainly skilled man power) is stalling the development & the plan of decongestion.

Infosys, with 330 acres Industrial land, had the chance to setup a huge facility in Mysore. Due to spiral effect, many companies - small & big - would have moved there and congestion in Bangalore would have reduced to some extent.

But Infosys setup training facilities at Mysore (world class cricket stadium, golf course, multiplexes, assembly hall resembling Rashtrapathi Bhavan, et al ) . Was it the shortsight of Infosys bosses in preventing Mysore from becoming IT destination, or oversight of Infosys bosses in keeping the charm of Mysore, as it is?
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Old 26th August 2009, 16:16   #53
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@ Amit, would you say that Mysore is in the no infrastructure category?
It is quite close to No infrastructure category.
It has no air link. For all rail links, you have to come to Bangalore. It does not even have a double digit National Highway connecting it by road to any other major cities. In short, all connectivity to this town is via Bangalore.

Secondly, i do not know whether it has the required internet connectivity for business continuity. Recently there was a major undersea cable link disruption. It had zero impact on our business because we had equally powerful failover in place.

Lastly, Mysore is more suitable to be developed as a tourism center. The hospitality industry there has a huge potential to grow. Most of the people stay in a hotel in Bangalore and visit Mysore in a day trip! I would rather see more effort put into preserving the historic monuments there.
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Old 26th August 2009, 23:42   #54
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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
We love to criticize the government, but in reality it is all of us, participating fully in the tandava. That is why it continues, the dance.
Well, you can leave me out of the us.

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Clarify please, did not get the meaning. I know that in Maharashtra, many of the smaller places suffer extended power cuts, to keep those in the prominent cities at a minimum level.
True, recently when I visited Bangalore, I was amazed that there was no power cut for the entire 3 days I spent I there. At my rural office we lose power 3-4 times a day despite having a HT connection.

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Secondly, i do not know whether it has the required internet connectivity for business continuity. Recently there was a major undersea cable link disruption. It had zero impact on our business because we had equally powerful failover in place.
At Mysore broadband is not a problem. But for big companies it is not a problem anywhere, if you want upwards of 10Mbps, they will easily pull the line. That is the offshoot of mobile coverage. Since mobile towers are all connected via fiber (OFC), they can pull a data line from the nearest tower.
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Old 27th August 2009, 09:18   #55
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I couldn't have picked a more appropriate topic, thanks Sawyer.
Every time I see a tree cut for the traffic cause my heart bleeds and no, I am not a tree hugging kind nor a die hard environmentalist.

I am witnessing a massacre of the beauty of my city with each passing day. I mean the heart and soul of the city has been bartered in the name of development and I am totally pissed off. I can understand that things should change to move with the times and changing conditions but this is absolute butchery.

The Garden city alas is no more folks, lets drink to that. This type of scenes can be slowly seen in all upwardly mobile cities and town.
We pride ourselves when it comes to love of nature but see the hypocrisy, we are ruthless when it comes to meeting our needs, nothing can and should stand in OUR way.

I have seen over the years some good things happen and many bad thigs happen to this city. The city which is bearing the brunt of economic surge is also being manhandled. And this road widening has been one of the most damaging things to happen without providing the expected benefits. I mean the traffic is bursting at it seams and the solution is to widen the road, the most lousiest logic I have ever seen. As sawyer said the traffic has filled the widened roads and is still bursting at its seams . And how many trees and shady avenues were sacrificed for this mindlessness. The once homely and lovely places have lost their character and look desolate and polluted.

Bangalore is a city like towns in Italy and not like NewYork and the development should keep the character of the city intact when planning (is there any ) for development.

And the most ridiculous equation I have ever seen:

Cutting a tree here can be compensated by planting a sapling somewhere

We are not only wicked but stupidly wicked and thats a deadly combination.

Just one look at the 4th main road near Jayanagar and I feel very very sad. I am seeing the older generation totally lost and helpless in traversing the mess of roads and signals near their neighborhoods. We have killed their sense of familiarity with he city they grew up with and they mourn in nostalgia.
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Old 27th August 2009, 10:40   #56
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I am seeing the older generation totally lost and helpless in traversing the mess of roads and signals near their neighborhoods. We have killed their sense of familiarity with he city they grew up with and they mourn in nostalgia.
And you know something? One reaps what one sows, and when this generation gets old, it is going to be treated just this way by the then younger generation, with all the wrong force multipliers of technology and progress. Because we taught them nothing better.
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Old 27th August 2009, 11:13   #57
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It is quite close to No infrastructure category.
Its your perception and it is as wrong it can get from reality.
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It has no air link.
Mysore has airport.
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For all rail links, you have to come to Bangalore. It does not even have a double digit National Highway connecting it by road to any other major cities. In short, all connectivity to this town is via Bangalore.
Mysore is south of Banaglore. So any traffic towards north you have to go via Bangalore. Similarly, any traffic from Bangalore towards south has to go via Mysore. BTW, Mangalore train from Bangalore goes via Mysore.
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Secondly, i do not know whether it has the required internet connectivity for business continuity. Recently there was a major undersea cable link disruption. It had zero impact on our business because we had equally powerful failover in place.
Internet connectivty is as good as Bangalore. Anything that can be done in Bangalore can be done in Mysore, maybe faster & cheaper.
Faster: You can reach office in 10 minutes
Cost: Cost of living is less
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Lastly, Mysore is more suitable to be developed as a tourism center. The hospitality industry there has a huge potential to grow. Most of the people stay in a hotel in Bangalore and visit Mysore in a day trip! I would rather see more effort put into preserving the historic monuments there.
Mysore does have very good tourist infrastructure. If people want to stay in Banaglore & visit Mysore, its their call. AFAIK, most stay in Mysore and explore the place for couple of days.

BTW, a division of L & T software is functioning from Mysore for many years. Wipro has lighting division there. JK Tyre factory and till few years back Ideal Jawa (Yezdi bike) factory was in Mysore. These are major ones. There are many small & medium enterprises.

It also has many quality educational institues.

Infosys has their biggest campus in Mysore. But for their egoistic approach (setting up training center, instead of development center), Mysore would have been a favored IT destination.
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Old 27th August 2009, 11:30   #58
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Wonderful topic.

What we need are well planned , self contained suburbs to the big cities. May be an example , is the way Vashi and rest of Navi Mumbai was developed.

Of late I have found that quite a few from the southern suburbs of Chennai have stopped visitng the T Nagar area for shopping since most of the goods are available in the neighbourhood. Providing comfortable public transport and restricting use of cars in certain areas will definitely help.

Yes widening roads is only a temproray solution.
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Old 27th August 2009, 11:33   #59
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Its your perception and it is as wrong it can get from reality.
Mysore has airport.
Is it? Go to makemytrip website and see if Mysore figures anywhere in the dropdown for flights. It doesnt. Having an airport is not the same as having an airlink. My hometown Patiala also has such an airport!

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Mysore is south of Banaglore. So any traffic towards north you have to go via Bangalore. Similarly, any traffic from Bangalore towards south has to go via Mysore. BTW, Mangalore train from Bangalore goes via Mysore.
Not correct. Bangalore lies on NH4 and NH7. These two highways connect Bangalore to rest of the major cities of India. Mysore does not lie on either of them.

The rail link between Mysore and Bangalore is not double lined and neither electrified.

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Internet connectivty is as good as Bangalore. Anything that can be done in Bangalore can be done in Mysore, maybe faster & cheaper.
Faster: You can reach office in 10 minutes
Cost: Cost of living is less
I was not talking about internet connectivity for personal use. Anyway, Samurai has clarified that, so this is not an issue.

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Mysore does have very good tourist infrastructure. If people want to stay in Banaglore & visit Mysore, its their call. AFAIK, most stay in Mysore and explore the place for couple of days.
Then what you know and what i know are two different things. Since Mysore is not well connected, most people land up in Bangalore, book hotels in Bangalore and Ooty/Kodai etc and visit Mysore on the way.

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BTW, a division of L & T software is functioning from Mysore for many years. Wipro has lighting division there. JK Tyre factory and till few years back Ideal Jawa (Yezdi bike) factory was in Mysore. These are major ones. There are many small & medium enterprises.
Every city has one or two major industries. Whats the point?

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It also has many quality educational institues.
Many? Interesting. How many engineering colleges are there in Mysore?

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Infosys has their biggest campus in Mysore. But for their egoistic approach (setting up training center, instead of development center), Mysore would have been a favored IT destination.
Ego does not have any place in business. You dont become one of the largest IT companies in India by letting ego make business decisions.

At the end of the day, Mysore should not become an IT hub. If it does, ten years down the line, you will be lamenting how a city with such beautiful monuments and peace and calm has become a concrete jungle.

Last edited by amitoj : 27th August 2009 at 11:35.
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Old 27th August 2009, 11:54   #60
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I raised the Mysore example only because I was in Bangalore when all the IT bigwigs were threatening to not expand in Bangalore. At that time, the government did not hold its nerve and said, fine, don't. For whatever reasons, they did not have the guts to say that. And not only say this, but use executive powers to not permit any expansion.
But the larger point this is meant to illustrate is that it is for everyone to take a view that incorporates longer term civic responsibilities. For the IT community to transfer their growth to Mysore would involve some amount of dislocation no doubt, but it was doable, at least so it seemed to me. And in time the growth there would have led to infrastructure creation, in a more balanced way. And because a story on these lines is being played out everywhere, we are seeing all cities coping in the horrible manner that we are seeing. Maybe it is time to say that infrastructure creation in the existing cities is not going to happen, and only maintenance will be done. And make that a policy statement that does not get broken because of people testing it by coming up with fait accompli.
Or maybe that is not the answer. But if we do not find one, what is going to happen in India is not to be imagined.
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