The Wi-fi town is ma­tur­ing fast

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

an­ga­lore is the meta­phoric Neo from the Ma­trix tril­ogy. It must choose be­tween the blue pill (sig­ni­fy­ing bliss­ful ig­no­rance) and red pill (ac­cept­ing the painful re­al­ity), for this will de­ter­mine the how the city will look in 2017.

In the id­iom of In­dia’s lib­er­al­i­sa­tion boom, Ban­ga­lore was the ‘blue-eyed’ town that would ma­ture into a Shang­hai or Sin­ga­pore. To­day, the city has been left ‘redeyed’ as delu­sions of grandeur have made way to list­less­ness. To­day, the city’s new id­ioms are land (a press­ing prob­lem since the city is run­ning out of it), the Metro (an elu­sive prom­ise of a has­sle-free train ride in the city), and the nou­veau riche reap­ing ben­e­fits of the new econ­omy. The Ban­ga­lore of to­mor­row will be de­ter­mined how three cru­cial as­pects — in­fra­struc­ture, trans­port and life­style — are ad­dressed. Satel­lite town: Lo­cal chief­tain Kem­pe­gowda, who lorded over Ye­la­hanka and its sur­round­ing ar­eas (what con­sti­tutes Ban­ga­lore North now), laid the foun­da­tion stone of Ban­ga­lore. Now, Ye­la­hanka and De­vana­halli are prime real es­tate des­ti­na­tions af­ter the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the in­ter­na­tional air­port in De­vana­halli. The bot­tom-line is there is no space left in the cen­tral busi­ness dis­tricts. In­dus­trial houses are al­ready eyeing prime prop­erty in De­vana­halli, thus paving a way for a new satel­lite town that can ease the pres­sure off Ban­ga­lore.

The foun­da­tion of to­day’s IT City was set up soon af­ter In­de­pen­dence. Ex­perts agree that job pro­files will diver­sify in the fu­ture, with the onus on en­trepreneur­ship. The IT ser­vices will con­tinue to take a large share of the money pie. Train of the fu­ture: If the Metro rail ma­te­ri­alises, com­mut­ing from one end of the city to an­other will take “no longer than 32 min­utes,” reck­ons brand ex­pert Har­ish Bi­joor. Un­der phase 1 of the pro­ject, 42.3 km of track is un­der con­struc­tion and an­other 51 km is planned in the sec­ond phase. Par­ty­pooper: With an es­ti­mated pop­u­la­tion of 5.8 mil­lion in 2001, Ban­ga­lore is the third most pop­u­lous city in In­dia. But the party-pooper is the 11.30 pm dead­line for pubs and bars. The dis­cotheque of the fu­ture will be a “no-noise” af­fair, says Bi­joor. “Wear a WiFi head­phone and dance the night away. No noise any­where, ex­cept in your ears. Imag­ine strobe lights, lasers and a silent party in full swing! The cops are happy. The dancers are happy. Ban­ga­lore has found its own cre­ative so­lu­tion to the party-angst at large,” adds Bi­joor.

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