Girish Karnad in the Daily Beast:
“Only 20 years ago, when my wife and I decided to move to Bangalore from Bombay, we could visit a new suburb, buy a site of our choice, and then sit down with an architect to design the house we wanted. No more.
“As the demand for housing overran the availability of land, the estate developers took control, eating into the villages surrounding the city, occupying farms and open spaces, razing houses to the ground, and installing multistory apartment buildings in their place, with little regard to the city’s existing infrastructure.
“The current joke is that the only buildings to remain unscathed by the onslaught may be Vidhana Soudha, the building that houses the legislature, and UB City, a complex that is a hideous combination of the Empire State Building and Internet kitsch, built by a liquor baron….
“Twenty years after we built our house in a residential zone, we have now been informed that the road in front of it needs to be widened to accommodate the traffic. Any day now an entire swath could be cleared from our front garden, and the wall of our living room knocked down.
“A city planner told me: ‘Every day 400 four-wheelers and 1,200 two- and three-wheelers are added to the roads of Bangalore. We have to compete with Beijing.’
“It was not so long ago that the city was competing only with Singapore.”
Read the full article: Karnad on Bangalore
BANGALORE: ‘A city whose soul has been clinically removed‘