Satellite towns and Radial roads

We have been hearing a lot about the various ring roads – intermediate, peripheral and satellite. But I have been looking around for plans for developing radial roads, and can’t find any concrete ones.

Did you see this new pdf they put up on BMRDA website? Its a presentation called “PreProject Meeting” (huge file, be warned!) and has consolidated high level details on planned Bidadi township. Let us leave a detailed review and criticism of the material to regular newspapers, but I do see mention of my “Radial roads” there.ringroads

6 lanes with 2 service roads, and 1 meter wide median. Oh good! Total 262 km, cool! But why aren’t the exact roads mentioned there? Length calculation tells us the roads have been identified, so wonder why there have been no precise public declarations yet. Though this map (click on thumbnail on right for bigger image) floated by BMRDA does mark them out.

Anyways, I like BMRDA’s satellite town plans. Definitely seems to be a good long term way to decongest and make Bengalooru a better place.


Lip service?

[UPDATE, Dec 1: As expected, ToI apologized this morning saying this agency photo was a result of bad camera angle. And that they didn’t want to hurt anyone’s sentiments by publishing it. Well, we knew that, it had to be a bad angle or a moment of confusion. But ToI shouldn’t have published it in the first place.]

Spotted this picture in yesterday’s papers*. See if you too find it a bit odd. The CM of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje Scindia is shown greeting Bangalore’s bio-queen Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. Did the photographer catch an odd moment of confusion, an illusionary angle, or is this how powerful women greet each other!?

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Capitalist mind, socialist heart

Act 1. An unusually heavy work day leaves us with neither enough time nor energy to cook. So I am asked to dial a Pizza place for delivery.

PizzaOverly complicated nerd that I am, I feel good after ordering Rs 300 worth of this cheesy import. I used the phone to place my order, that should put some money in Airtel’s and BSNL’s coffers. Pizza will be delivered in a colorfully printed box, which I am sure will boost revenues of some printing shop in Namma Bengalooru and some factory in Orissa that produces paper. The pizza will be delivered on a scooter, so my money is going to reach some Bajaj employee at Pune as well! Now, don’t forget that delivery boy who owes his employment to patrons like myself. And, let us not even talk about making of the pizza itself, you know ‘maida‘, cheese, vegetables and stuff.

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Part Silicon Valley part Stone Age

Somewhere in Jharkhand. At this place the marketing types would classify as a Tier III or Grade C town. Late morning. I am sitting outside my house waiting for the power black-out to end so that I can manage some hot water for a quick shower. While I wait, I kill time by reading news and blogs on my month old Nokia N80. The phone has a wonderfully full-fledged browser. Besides, the GPRS signal is too strong to ignore.

Surfing the web while electricity has been out for over 12 hours, I wonder how Airtel manages to keep it’s towers and servers up and running through these blackouts. Diesel generators obviously.

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Pune vs Bangalore 5: Parks and walks by the river?

descend2Each time I descend on Pune, I imagine and dream things. That I am playing tourist in a city of rivers. There are nice walks by the water. There are parks and nice restaurants right on the river. There are beautiful and numerous bridges throughout the city. And the rivers have clean silvery water flowing through them.


But after I arrive, I get to see plastic bags and other colorful things floating in those mostly muddy waters. I see the rivers stagnat and full of weeds at a few locations. I see some parks, but most not so well maintained or attractive. And I haven’t yet spotted any worthy walks or jogging tracks near the flowing waters. Talking of the bridges, while a few of them are in nice and functional shape, I don’t seen any that can be called beautiful and worthy of morning or evening strolls.

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‘Spot the footpath’ contest!

After those Google Earth quizzes, how about a new game!? Try these photos from Gandhi Bazaar, Bangalore, and we will play ‘spot the footpath’.


gb3Veggies and flowers all over the pavement. I didn’t mind the flowers though, welcome break from pollution from the road. Wish they encroach the road itself some day. It would then be so nice to smell the roses on your drive.

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Sealings in Bangalore – welcome development?

City newspapers have been reporting this week that BMP (Bangalore Mahanagar Palike) may have quietly begun with sealing operations of its own. As per this report in The Hindu:

The operation was carried out as the BMP had received a notice from the High Court to close down commercial establishments in residential areas … High Court notice came following a public interest litigation petition filed by the Sadashivnagar Residents’ Welfare Association.

I have been watching sealing related developments in Delhi with great interest, for I believe the ‘controversy’ is setting the stage for true “urban” development in our country. Whether you spend big bucks to churn more concrete via JNURM (National Urban Renewal Mission), or provide more power to the local urban bodies, how well your citizens follow prescribed rules and regulations is what matters most at the end of the day.

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When I met Amitabh Bachchan

AmitabhI was at Madame Tussuad’s, London a few weeks ago. There is a certain irony about that place. And interestingly enough, the museum makes a very good effort to hide that via two most important scheduled stops for visitors.

I was a bit surprised by the props they put up at the entrance itself. Its like a longish hallway where wall on one side has silhouettes of cameras and photographers. Lighting, audio and imagery are all setup to simulate that “red carpet” feel – a thousand photographers howling and clicking your snaps. Hmm. So they try to make you feel like a ‘celebrity’ right when you enter the wax museum.

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In the name of religion alone

After Chacko pointed out on Mutiny, I read around to find more about the P C Thomas case. Along with other things, Kerala High Court may have passed a judgment that Mr Thomas asked for votes in the name of religion. That point alone – mixing politics and religion – makes me raise a question.

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Unveiling myself

I know anonymity is one of the thrills on the Internet. But wanting to be addressed as a handle as vague as silkboard did feel childish at times. And recently, a few emails asked for a bit of unveiling. So I have literally turned this bit of hallucination back on myself, and now have an “About Me” page up on the blog.