Will our future leaders make the right choices?

The elections are due this week and we have been witnessing a lot of sound and fury involving charges and counter charges across parties. The only solace for Bengaluru is that the manifestos across parties have welcome features. With an estimated doubling of population within the next two decades and the current challenges, Bengaluru is akin to the Titanic headed towards the proverbial iceberg. One hopes this election does not end up as a case of rearranging the deck chairs as we head towards doomsday!

One is no astrologer to figure out what the stars hold for our city candidates. What is clear is what the incoming government needs to do. For starters, there is a Greater Bengaluru Governance bill that has been done which suggests political and administrative decentralisation with ward level governance, multiple corporations and integration at the city level. All parties have signed up to a separate Act for Bengaluru. Can this draft bill be the starting point? In respect of the city problems, there are stark choices ahead. For roads and traffic, will we wholeheartedly embrace pedestrianisation and public transport as the primary way ahead or are we going to focus on elevated flyovers and signal-free corridors?

On garbage, will it be segregation and local processing or staying with the current landfill model and praying waste to energy works? On lakes, will we get around to integrated water shed management or announce mega spending on isolated projects? Will we make sustainable choices for water, energy, waste, etc. with a focus on conservation or believe that supply side spending is the way ahead? One could go on. The solution set is broadly known. We have to wait and see if the leadership will have the sagacity to make the right choices.

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