Ten years of the new Bangalore airport

Time flies! It is ten years since Bengaluru International Airport (operated by BIAL), as the new Bangalore airport was called, started operations on May 24, 2008.


A few weeks before the airport opened, we were thrilled to be able to visit the site along with members of Praja, a group working for the betterment of the city. Getting there was quite a journey, and we knew were were close once the bus drove on to the flyovers that were still being completed. The bus stopped somewhere on the top and we were allowed to get off, walk around and take pictures. There were people from the BIAL team who were there to explain things and answer questions.


‘Neralu’ on MG Road

Neralu – Bengaluru Tree Festival culminated in Bangalore today.

[Neralu = shade in Kannada]

My mom made a special effort to visit Bal Bhavan, Cubbon Park to catch the Photo Project that had moved from the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) where it was last weekend. Though really a tree lover (we’ve got loads in our compound at home), her incentive to go was my photo of the metro on MG Road, that was among the ones chosen for display. I’d taken this from the thirteenth floor of Barton Centre during our visit to Bangalore/Bengaluru in December 2014. Check out the Neralu Facebook page here.

Namma Metro and Namma Neralu on MG Road in Namma Bengaluru
Namma Metro and Namma Neralu on MG Road in Namma Bengaluru

As one moves in Bengaluru’s Namma Metro track on MG Road, the dense foliage on one side could make one easily forget that one is in the heart of the city.

Christmas trees in Bangalore

Walking around the streets of Richmond Town, one cannot but notice the tall Christmas trees that poke out into the sky, often towering above the concrete. Unlike the Christmas trees of Europe and America that are generally pines, the ones in Bangalore are conifers, with the binomial name Araucaria heterophylla. Continue reading

Open letter to Karnataka CM regarding occupancy certificates

Respected Chief Minister Siddaramaiah,

I was delighted to read yesterday’s newspaper report in The Times of India (Only 97 city high-rises have occupancy certificates) that said that your government would “take suitable action against builders who flout the building bye-laws”. As you have rightly said, those who have violated the laws need to be punished, but while this is being done, steps need to be taken to prevent this violation from happening in the first place.

It is distressing to note that “only 97 high-rise buildings in the city have obtained OCs between 2009 and 2014”. This means that there are hundreds of apartments in Bengaluru that are occupied without having been issued the occupancy certificate. This is done not without the knowledge of the BBMP because many of them pay property tax, and this is in total violation of Section 5.7 of the Bangalore Municipal Building Bye-laws, 2003, as below:

“No person shall occupy or allow any other person to occupy any new building or part of a new building for any purpose whatsoever until occupancy certificate to such buildings or part thereof has been granted by an officer authorised to give such certificate if in his opinion in every respect the building is completed according to the sanctioned plans and fit for the use for which it is erected. The Authority may in exceptional cases (after recording reasons) allow partial occupancy for different floors of a building.”

Continue reading