Bengaluru has kicked off its mission to become a smart city and has presented a series of proposals to the Urban Development Ministry. The state government has chosen Whitefield to be developed under the area-based development model, a move that will see thousands of crores being spent to develop the region’s infrastructure.
Bengaluru Bets On Whitefield
Whitefield is Bengaluru’s technology hub and when the government setup a vote-based system to choose the areas to be developed under the Smart City mission, the area’s tech-savvy residents quickly came together to vote in favour of Whitefield. As a result, Whitefield quickly rose up the ranks to take the top spot.
“We received about 10 lakh responses and out of this, 22% was from Whitefield. That was the region from where the maximum number of people had voted,” says N Manjunath Prasad, commissioner of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). “Whitefield area is also where the major IT companies are located. So we have taken up about 3,000 crores for retrofitting and are concentrating on providing these IT majors with good connectivity.”
So what other benefits will Whitefield see if it is chosen under the area-based development plan? For starters, commuting will get a whole lot easier with the government focusing on improving mobility within the region.
Major Infra Push For Whitefield
- The BBMP has made a number of proposals to improve Whitefield’s infrastructure, including:
- Spending nearly Rs 333 crores to build new roads, widen existing roads and establish linkages between the outer ring road stretch and the inner city.
- Another Rs 1,699 crores will be spent on establishing dedicated mobility corridors and a JPOD (elevated rail line) service
- Rs 2,338 crores will be spent on the Metro Phase 2 which will connect 11 stations around Whitefield.
- Proposals have been made to setup bicycle and pedestrian networks and to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to improve traffic management.
Residents Ask For More Citizen Participation
Experts say this focus on improving infrastructure will pay off almost immediately. “If you compare it to the other parts of the city, Whitefield has already seen good growth. If the government focuses on improving infrastructure, that growth will continue since there is plenty of land available here.” says Ram Chandani, MD of transaction services at CBRE India.
Meanwhile, people living in Whitefield are also asking for greater citizen participation in the process in order to ensure that it is implemented right. Many are already coming forward with suggestions to make this work.
The proposal still has to be passed by the Urban Development Ministry, the final authority on the Smart City. However both the BBMP and Whitefield residents are hoping that there will be no problems. The true test of course, will be on how quickly and effectively these proposals are implemented once approvals come through.
Edited by Nikhil Narayan Sivadas