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HomekarnatakaMere name change sans infra push won't drive growth

Mere name change sans infra push won't drive growth

Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar’s proposal to rename Ramanagara as Bengaluru South district is unlikely to drive growth in the southern parts of Bengaluru unless the government creates infrastructure, including the second airport, in the region.

Although a 10-lane expressway connects Ramanagara, the other parts of the district including Kanakapura and Harohalli do not have proper connectivity including railway lines. 

Between Kanakapura and Bengaluru, a four-lane road is currently under construction but it is not wide enough to take vehicular traffic in the future. At the moment, it takes a minimum of two hours to cover the 60-km distance. 

A Metro line does exist up to Silk Institute – with connection to three parts of the city (Nagasandra, Whitefield and Challaghatta) – but the government has not not announced further extension. There was a plan to build a railway track between Hejjala (Bidadi) and Kollegal (Chamarajnagar) – which passes Kanakapura and Harohalli. The project is however yet to materialize. 

Urbanist Ashwin Mahesh said the city’s first international airport should have been in south Bengaluru as it is in the direction of Karnataka’s second largest city, Mysuru. “The government should now seriously consider building the second airport in the south and preferably in Bidadi where it has already acquired over 700 acres of land to build a township during the NICE corridor project,” he said. 

“A bulk of the connectivity to the south already exists as it is connected to the NICE road and Metro from the city,” he added. 

Last month, the Bengaluru International Airport Ltd (BIAL) requested the state government to seriously consider establishing a second airport for Bengaluru as it projects the Kempegowda International airport (KIA) reaching its structural capacity of 92 million passengers by 2032-33. 

“Major highway projects, airports are the key drivers of growth in any region. Land prices in Kolar, Doddaballapur, Dobbspet picked up after Devanahalli got the airport. By building the second airport in the south, the government can give thrust for development in the region,” a senior town planner told DH. He said the northern and eastern parts of Bengaluru have already reached saturation level. 

Water, he said, will not be an issue in the south as it is in the north. “In and around Devanahalli, water is not available even if we dig 1,000 feet deep. This is not so in Ramanagara and Kanakapura as one can find water even below 200 feet from the surface,” he said. 

(Published 26 October 2023, 20:46 IST)

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