BANGALORE: A ‘suburb’ is typically defined as an area of development that is exclusively residential or mixed use, which is part of the city or a separate neighbourhood which lies within commuting distance of a city. This definition can be applied to many areas in Bangalore that have witnessed rapid development over the last decade.
From encompassing an area of 225 sqkm forming the core city areas, the development of localities away from the city centre, owing to commercial and industrial growth, proliferation of jobs and an expanding working population leading to demand for residential development, began long before the actual expansion of the city limits to 809 sq km.
Connectivity – the vital link
Connectivity with improvement of civic infrastructure has gained importance in order to facilitate seamless travel from various employee catchments to the economic hubs and erase any difference between living in the core city areas and the far-flung localities.
Outer Ring Road
The Outer Ring Road (ORR) was the first such project to have significant impact in improving connectivity to the peripheral areas. On the one hand, while it freed up city roads from neck-to-neck traffic by diverting heavy traffic heading to the outskirts, on the other, it also provided a ‘shortcut’ to reach key localities by seamlessly connecting the four regions.
Along with the NICE Ring Road, this has integrated the peripheries with the Central Business District (CBD).
Hosur Road expressway
The Hosur Road elevated expressway has connected the CBD with the IT hub at Electronics City. The uninterrupted travel has spurred commercial and residential growth, extending right up to the border town of Hosur.
With the airport at Devanahalli, the immediate priority was to upgrade infrastructure to facilitate quick travel to this area. The 22-km signal free corridor from Hebbal to the airport with a 6-lane elevated section, four underpasses and two flyovers at strategic junctions will reduce commuting time for travellers to the airport.
The improvement of the Tumkur Road highway has made commuting easier to industrial hubs of Peenya and further on towards Nelamangala and Dabaspete.
Old Madras Road
Improvements to the Old Madras Road have led to a seamless drive to localities in the east and towards Hoskote, giving a push to residential development in this belt.
The planned Bangalore-Mumbai expressway will connect the city to areas in the west and onward towards Mumbai. The Bangalore-Chennai expressway will head towards peripheral areas in the east and an easy commute to Chennai.
The Metro is perhaps the most significant infrastructure project to take off in Bangalore. Not only will it help restrict the use of private vehicles by connecting key junction points with employment and residential hubs, but also promote the spread of development and ensure non-stop travel.
Phase I is expected to be completed by the year 2015. Phase II will have four extension lines from Byappanahalli to Whitefield, Mysore Road Terminal at Nayandahalli to Kengeri, Hessarghatta Cross to BIEC (Tumkur Road), and Puttenahalli Cross to Anjanapura Township. There will also be two new lines from Gottigere to Nagavara and R V Road Terminal to Bommasandra.