The demise of Bangalore….

Nothing will wake us up. The DNA of “chalta hai” and “adjust madi” attitude that has been so ingrained in us, that we do not see what is happening all around us.  A thousand and eight hundred trees, some more than decade old are on the chopping block and not a murmur from the public! How can one even think of clearing the only available green space in the city to make way for Metro is beyond my imagination. Both Lalbagh and Cubbon park are on the chopping block! Not sure if even a PIL can stop this madness! The Hindu writes:

BANGALORE: Around 1,800 trees in Bangalore, most of them decades old, would be felled for the Bangalore Metro project. And the much hyped Namma Metro would gobble up parts of Lalbagh and Cubbon Park in the days to come.

While Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), which is taking up the metro project, has already taken possession of a small piece of Lalbagh, it has applied to the High Court for permission to dig up the lawns in front of the court premises to build a road as the Ambedkar Veedhi between Gopala Gowda Circle and GPO Circle would be closed to facilitate construction of an underground station in front of Vidhana Soudha.

Even as BMRCL is awaiting a green signal from the High Court for digging up Cubbon Park, it has decided to go ahead with the project at Lalbagh despite stiff opposition from environmental groups and Bangaloreans opposed to felling of trees in the world famous botanical gardens.

Nowhere else in the civilized world, do authorities work against public welfare. The Govt. which is supposed to look after the welfare of people chooses projects that hamper the quality of life of its own people.  

The other day I was at the ITC Infotech campus doing an introductory session for the employees and had a few minutes to look at the campus. Apparently, ITC had done a carbon footprint of the campus and it came out to be carbon positive. Some of the huge trees in the campus were 95 years old and apparently, each such tree gives out cooling equivalent to 400 Air conditioners. Multiply this by 1800 trees and work out the negative impact on the city.

Bangalore today is no longer a green city, its green cover has rapidly diminished and we face even more deforestation with an unconcerned govt machinery and citizens that do not care for their own city and its environment.

For the last 6 years or so we have been doing our bit towards the environment, but when something like this happens I feel that we need to reach out, join hands, accelerate and deepen our efforts and do whatever little we can, that is in our control to save the environment.

The media which is supposed to be the fourth pillar of our democracy has neither inclination nor intention to cover topics that are important for the people, they are busy reporting only the antics and vituperative speeches of the politicians, thereby making it a vicious cycle. More coverage of antics –> more publicity and to get more publicity, they think of more vituperative speeches.

Vasanti writes in Mint:

The power of the news media to set the agenda and to focus attention on issues that matter to the common man, is well documented. Studies have also shown how people acquire factual information about issues from the news media as well as learn how much importance to attach to a topic on the basis of the emphasis placed on it.
For me, the disconnect between politicians and voters is similar to the disconnect between the news media and their users. The most relevant and important things seem to be those that matter least to our politicians and journalists.

The less said about the MSM (Main Stream Media) the better. Look at the reporting in the Mumbai Rape case. It shames us all!

Happy Sankranti!

Starting December end to all the way to 14th Jan was a time I used to look forward during my childhood for two reasons: The first being the freedom to fly kites leading upto Makar Sankranti festival. It is unbelievable to think that the skies in Hyderabad used to be full of kites, more so during the last few days leading upto the festival and the whole 3 days – a day before Sankranti festival, on the day of the festival and the day after the festival, we kids used to be on the terrace all the way from 7AM to 7PM. Somewhere around 1985 onwards the decline of the kite flying started, today I guess it is restricted to only a few areas in Hyderabad. Here in Bangalore, it is even difficult to find a kite shop (there is one in Shivajinagar area though) and hardly anyone flies kites in Bangalore. The second reason was the mandatory visit to “Numaeesh” ( a Urdu word which means exhibition) or exhibition grounds in Hyderabad – a once a year event that used to start on Jan 1st and go all the way to mid Feb. Both remain only memories now. But I look forward to celebrate Sankrantri tomorrow the traditional way!

Happy Sankratri to you all dear readers wherever you are! Enjoy the festival and spread the sweetness!