Read in the media that Karnataka government plans to acquire 500 acres to develop a health city near the upcoming Bangalore aireport at Devanahalli. I thought Bangalore would be the last place in the state that needs the government help in promoting such investment. Besides, medical tourism is not an area that is crying out for government promotion. If anything, the city needs to consolidate its growth to be able to serve the best interests of its residents. Infrastructure in Bangalore, such as roads, public transport, sewage disposal and affordable housing, are already stressed out as a result of haphard growth that is unmindful of its impact on quality of life of those who are constrained to live there.
A responsive government would think in terms of addressing the infrastructure situation and in regulating the growth factors contributing to this social malady, instead of aggravating the pressure on the woefully inadequate social infrastructure. The coming up of an international airport is bound to promote investment in varied sectors. And a government with foresight ought to be thinking in terms of developing health and other sector-specific townships, away from the city, within a 100 to 150 km radius, with well served rapid transit facilities.
The six-lane Bangalore-Mysore expressway project holds out opportunity for developing sector-centric, growth-oriented townships along the transitway. The expressway gains significance, not just because it can shorten Mysore-Bangalore travel time (to 90 minutes) but, more importantly, because it opens out prospects for growth oriented townships all along the expresseway. If the government is really concerned about betterment of its capital city and the greater Bangalore region, it ought to 1) facilitate early completion of Bangalore-Mysore expressway, in time to take advantage of investment triggered by the upcoming international airport; and 2) take steps to locate the proposed health city midway along the expressway.