What can the MPs do for Bangalore?

Media has been asking what Bangalore BJP MPs can do in new government, especially since the MPs are from the ruling party. Two things come to mind.

(a) Make the Commuter Rail project happen. This has been pending for so long, and for such flimsy reasons that it is a shame that we are the only metro without suburban rail connectivity. Over half a million people will benefit daily, and it will also lessen the load on the city. If we also figure out how to create a second airport in the south (between BLR and Mysore) and a new railway station to serve the southern suburbs, even better.

(b) Secure water supply for the metro region. Ten lakes in the area should be turned into major water reservoirs to augment the piped water supply. Rainfall in the BBMP area is roughly the same as the volume of Cauvery supply, and the BMRDA region is ten times larger than BBMP. Which means that even with 10% water harvesting on a regional scale, we can create one more Cauvery for the city. And in the process, the lakes will be revived too.

Both of these can equally be championed by the State government itself, and in fact that would make more sense. But we have reached a stage in our governance that we hope for gains from whichever quarter we can get them. 

Beyond wanting such things for ourselves, however, we must recognise that Parliament is a large institution, and it is actually unhelpful for each MP to see himself as a champion of development for his constituency alone. What we really need is to build a canvas for the country, from which gains flow naturally to every part of the nation. We can’t eliminate the pet projects entirely, but it will help to remember how, when Bihar and Bengal were getting daft pet projects funded, we were left fuming!

Ashwin Mahesh
About Ashwin Mahesh 86 Articles

Ashwin Mahesh has been involved in public policy for Bengaluru through his work with the Karnataka government. The views expressed here are his own. He is a member of the Lok Satta party. He is also CEO of Mapunity Information Services, and a director at Oorvani Media, publisher of Citizen Matters and India Together. He is also a visiting faculty with the Centre for Public Policy at IIM Bangalore.