Thursday, January 31, 2013

Karnataka State's Recipe for Future Development around Bangalore.

In a recent news item, as shown in the clip to left, the Karnataka State Cabinet has given its nod to implement a project aimed at decongesting Bangalore, by developing 8 small townships around Bangalore.

A Google Map of the proposal is presented later in this blog post. In addition to showing the NICE Road (green) and the Outer Ring Roads (purple), it shows the 8 townships (purple) proposed by the State Cabinet. It also shows the Bangalore airport.

The proposed cost of this development, according to the article, is ₹2,100 crores, or approximately US $400 M in today's exchange rate.

Click on the map to open the map in a new window.

Now, one of the main problems in today's Bangalore — I was in Bangalore just a week ago — is that ground transportation is hopelessly inadequate. While the Namma Metro is intended to ease the problem, the problem a motorist faces today in driving across town is very painful. Consider that it takes two hours, on average, to reach the Bangalore airport from a place about 40 kms, or  ~ 25 miles, away! In other words, an average speed of about 12.5 mph. I am told that, under best conditions, it takes only an hour and a quarter, or 20 mph.

Consider a today's motorist wanting to go from Kanakapura to Doddaballapur, a distance of about 100 kms, or 60 miles. It can be a 3-hour proposition!

What the city needs direly is a freeway system in and around Bangalore. With a freeway system capable of admitting 65 mph traffic, it only takes less than half an hour to reach the airport from a point 40 kms away.

While it is not the purpose of this post to work out the economics of constructing such a freeway system — I'll leave to the PhDs and MBAs working with the State Government — the purpose is to highlight that it is important for the city designers to consider a freeway system in the equation. 

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