With the number of air passengers from Bangalore to Madras apparently dropping by as much as 60 to 70 per cent, Narendar Pani calls the new Bangalore International Airport a classic example of huge expenses being expended on a project with uncertain returns, in Mail Today:
“Those who plan for India’s cities today have been afflicted by what has been called, in another time and another place, as the Edifice Complex. For those who suffer from this complex, the development of a city is measured by the number of large projects it tries to implement…. Once policy makers develop an Edifice Complex all other criteria are thrown out of the window.
“The Edifice Complex of Bangalore’s urban planners has now reached a point where the city is taking great pains to make things worse for itself. Each of these high-cost projects raises the price of the service it provides, thereby hugely raising the cost of living in Bangalore. And then there is the indirect effect as well. As large unviable projects are sought to be made viable by giving the investors more land than they need, there is an upward pressure on real estate prices as well. This in turn makes the city even more unaffordable. It may be just a matter of time before Bangalore prices itself out of its rightful place in the global network of cities.”
Also read: Will airport in Hosur steal Bangalore’s thunder?
Is Mysore airport jinxed even before takeoff?
Because people are not flying to Madras the new airport is a waste. Nice try.
I am sure the chap also thinks that the NICE project is a waste. Metro as well. All of them require land. And, surely the low cost airport and low cost metro with 30X40 stations are what the doctor ordered for Bangalore?
Come to think of it then, gardens are a waste. Sooo much land Lalbaugh occupies na? And Majestic? And the railway station? Roads are a waste too.
His solution is elegant. No projects and let the city rot its way out of the global economy (or whatever is left of it)
Yes, but Bangalore starts with a negative here. It had no real infrastructure to speak off when the IT/BT boom caused a population surge, that too of an entirely middle class, personal vehicle owning type.
Besides, contrary to what Narender Pani is saying, International traffic to Bangalore has not reduced, and in fact the BIAL needs more terminals to deal with the same.
.. and in the absence of road tolls, what cost of living is he talking about? Cost of living has increased due to increasing demand by more and more affluent families.
Thank god the Bangalore intl. airport is still inside Karnataka
The BIAL project has merits, no doubts but what about the future projects? For instance, the proposed rail link from MG Road to BIAL. Projected Cost = a whopping 4000 Crores !! And pray how many people are going to use it??
The proposed plan is to catch a bus/taxi to MG Road and then switch to the fast proposed rail link. How easy is this? You are just increasing the congestion in the CBD instead of dispersing it.
Assuming a price of 80 Lakhs for a Volvo bus (similar Tata or Leyland buses are cheaper), we can get 5000 Volvo buses for the cost of the rail link. If we have 5000 Volvo buses, we can run trips to BIAL from every nook and corner of the city, right close to your homes. (Even assuming 4 buses per route, thats a huge 1250 routes !!). Remember, that the PRR and the Airport expressway would be completed by then for the smooth running of the buses.
Which is more convenient? A bus from close to your home or lugging your baggage to MG Road, and switch to a rail link?
but its only sensible that short haul between blr and chennai is getting rationalized in terms of energy.
the new blr airport is in the perfect place. into and towards the water parched bayalu.
connectivity is not bia’s problem. it is blr’s problem. fixing connectivity to bia means solving blr’s problem. it could be as simple as using existing SWR lines or as involved as dedicated rails. or remaking blr’s roads. or all of the above.
if anybody is telling you that solving any of these types of problems anywhere in the world has ever been cheap then he is selling you snake oil.
no city worth its history ever had a great infrastructure and perfect designs to begin with. paris was rebuilt so was new york. infact blr had an awesome built infrastructure of hundreds of lakes, which blr systematically decimated.
problem is not what was. problem is what is. which is no structure in planning, no vision, no expertise and no skills and more importantly no money and real local administrative power.
Why is the author soo worried about BIAL? It has been built mainly with private money. So if it doesnt work then private investors are going to loose.
>>It may be just a matter of time before Bangalore prices itself out of its rightful place in the global network of cities.”>>
These lines says everything about the author’s intention in writing the article. I have been reading such epithaphs being written about Bengalooru since the ’90s and if anything bengalooru has grown from strength to strength. Let these morons cry all they want, Bengalooru will still prosper and prevail.
I am glad someone finally put some value to “Bangalore charm”. Money is not everything. God save Bangalore from its politicians.
Off topic: If Kannada medium is compulsory for all public and private schools till fifth standard, we will have One Karnataka. Even if you are from UP, if your children are raised in Karnataka, they have to be raised as Kannadigas.
Not really related, but an article in NY times about the changing face of Beijing with respect to its new landmarks and architecture:
I’m not sure if it is a stupid idea to leave bangalore as it is by now…
Instead, lets build a new bangalore adjacent to the old…I believe San Francisco is still beautifully cluttered and aesthetically maintained city. While area surrounding the city, which people call Bay Area i guess, is the suburban SF, built for growing demand of its gluttonous industries.
I think the phirangs had the vision to only add make up to SF and not a make over like the shangai folks. So should we…promote old bangalore as one political and cultural hub, create a creative cauldron, and keep all the housing and industries distributed in the new bangalore…
Whatever lets not divide it as rich and poor bangalores!…nasty things in the line of delhi and hyd.
The author i think tries to caution, but that sounds more like the voice of Left or HDD. Which in today’s context is anti development.
Pani definitely is a knowledgable man, but somehow it doesnt sell amongst the meet-the-eye newsmongers of today’s. Though all of us crave for knowledge-discussions in most blogs like this.
Probably the same result for the politically motivaed Setuasamudram project.
“Another classic example of huge expenses being expended on a project with uncertain returns”.
I used to commute regularly between Bangalore and Madras by Air. Now a days I hire a Taxi and go to Madras and use the Taxi for all my local trips and come back in the same vehicle.
In all it takes about 3hours from the time you leave your residence and for the flight to take off (if it takes off), and another 2hours to reach your work spot. By road by a taxi it takes less than 5hours to reach Madras and it is cheaper, no delay and convenient.
What nonsense! In South India we need at least to upgrade MAA on a large scale and continue to expand BLR, and HYD till each one of them can take on about 45 million PAX a year. The next line of airports with similar facilities although on a smaller scale are VTZ, IXE, CCJ, TRV, and COK. And then come the feeders at Coimbatore etc., Southern India shd plan to process at least 300 million PAX per year by 2013. In a country that spends much more on a confidence vote than the US spends on a presidential election, airports are chump change.
The airport was not constructed to improve or boost air travel to Chennai. If by chance, Bengalurujana are finding greener pastures for business, it is good to look far and wide. If relatives from Chennai are instead travelling to Bengaluru (to check out the new airport) that is good news too –for Karnataka tourism. If the time-factor (much exaggerated –it took me just 41 minutes on a working day at 4 pm to travel 40 kms and about less than an hour at midnight to travel 33 kms.) is prompting people to take the train, that is good too. Multi-modal transport is every Planner’s dream.
My recent experience at the new airport made me proud that we have a good airport –worldclass! Solpa over-analysis mado habit idhe, most budhijeevigalige.
Great comment by TS! I completely agree. Why Kannadigas should subsidize air travel to KongaNadu and back? In fact I would like to see all these Kongas board their flights to Chennai from Hosur. Good riddance, I say!
Congratulations on your pleasant experience with BIAL. I think the new airport is a hit with Kannadigas! The Lake District and Old Madras Road denizens are of course inconvenienced! :)
I’ve traveled via BIA twice now and both the times reaching the airport was not at all an issue – it hardly took around 1 hr or so even during the peak hours.
But of course I personally believe that there are more accident porn spots on the highway. There should be dedicated lane to reach airport to avoid any unpleasant incidents and also help the commuters reach the airport in more shorter time ;)
Now, with the benefit of hindsight, we can safely say that the author is an Idiot. A big one at that.