Infrastructure growth must for survival of Bengaluru: ex CM

Bengaluru: Expressing concern over the urban woes of India’s tech hub, Karnataka’s former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna on Monday said infrastructure growth was a must for the survival of Bengaluru.

“Infrastructure growth is must for the survival of this city. Otherwise, Bengaluru will just fade away. The government and all stakeholders must speed up the infra projects to keep pace with the city’s explosive growth,” Krishna told reporters at an art event here.

Alarmed over the unchecked growth of the city over the last two decades, resulting in gridlocks, air and noise pollution and influx of people from within the state and outside, Krishna said if Bengaluru had to survive, experts have to plan ahead its infrastructure growth and ensure the projects were executed without delay.

“Though IT and BT (biotech) have put Bengaluru on the world map and attracted global firms to invest heavily in the city, the civic projects have not kept pace with its growth for various reasons,” Krishna said after unveiling a photo expo on the city’s iconic Krishna Rajendra Market by ace lensman K. Venkatesh at an art centre.

Krishna, 85, who joined the BJP in March, was the Congress Chief Minister of the southern state from October 1999 to May 2004. His tech-savvy image and pro-IT and BT policies had spurred the growth of the knowledge industry exponentially.

Conceding that the state government alone would not be able to do everything for the city’s infrastructure growth as its resources were stretched, India’s former external affairs minister said the citizens, corporates, non-government organisations, lawmakers and experts have to contribute in their own ways to improve the quality of life in Bengaluru.

“As the state government has other priorities for spending its limited resources and the IT-BT sector can share the burden to an extent, it is for other stakeholders to chip in and save the city from fading away and its 11 million citizens from facing more urban woes,” said Krishna.

Recalling the olden days when the garden city was a pensioners’ paradise with salubrious weather throughout the year and much quieter, Krishna said Bengaluru had changed and expanded so much that he was finding it hard to reconcile.

“Though I hail from Maddur in Mandya district (about 100 km from here), Bengaluru has been my home since the mid-1950s when I came here for studying law and have been living here since then,” said Krishna.

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