Karnataka State Capital Bengaluru is heading towards a total collapse of infrastructure and civic management. Traffic is unbearable, garbage management is a joke, power is in short supply but state government and local administration are either incompetent or indifferent. National Capital Delhi is also choking on similar issues and pollution. Some ideas are being discussed there to make things better. Bengaluru also needs some immediate corrective measures, without which city will be unfit for living within a decade.
Below are some ideas that I think can solve city's problem, if seriously implemented.
1. Discourage more people moving into Bengaluru- infrastructure is not adequate to support existing population. If some IT companies are threatening to halt their expansion in city and relocate elsewhere, encourage them to. New factories, office complexes and IT parks can wait for some-time till supporting infrastructure is ready.
2. Develop nearby Tier2/Tier 3 cities like Mysuru, Tumkur, Hosur, Hosakote, Kolar etc. Make these cities capable of handling slightly larger population. Encourage a % of population/factories/offices to shift to these cities. Develop a secondary airport (Mysore already has one) in one of these cities and encourage some airlines (may be budget airlines) to offer connectivity from these cities instead of BIAL.
3. Build a peripheral local train system similar to outer ring road. Local trains are highly effective in moving large number of people from one part of the city to another. Has been working very well in Mumbai, Chennai etc. The Bangalore metro is not helping regular office goers much. If local trains can run parallel to NICE Road/ORR, thousands of office goes can commute in short time from say Kengeri to Whitefield or Hebbal to Electronic city by train. Takes load off road traffic. Ensure these train stations have lots of multi-story parking spaces so that people can park their vehicles in the station and catch train.
4. Encourage employees to stay close to office. Local residents who have their families, properties and roots in heart of Bangalore may not be able to move closer to office, but outsiders who relocate to Bengaluru can be easily convinced to stay in apartments closer to work. Some incentives from administration/corporates can ensure this and it means those people will spend very less time commuting.
5. Improve public transportation-people should feel it is viable, cheaper and fast enough to take public transportation instead of using their car
a. Feeder buses which offer short distance connectivity (like small buses in Chennai),
b. More multi-story parking facilities where people can leave their cars and take bus/train,
c. Encourage self-drive car rentals
d. Build proper mobile app that can be used to figure out how to reach a destination, timing of buses etc. This way those who are not familiar with city's bus numbers, stops etc also will be able to use public transportation. Switzerland and many European cities have this app.
e. Many cycle rental efforts are being made by enterprising individuals (ex- Namma Cycle)-encourage this on larger scale and in multiple locations with Government support, so that people are encouraged to try cycle for short distance instead of auto/taxi.
6. Discourage registration of more personal vehicles-may be increase tax on second or third vehicle of a family etc. Give incentives to those who have very high income (say in 30% income tax bracket) but still do not own a car.
Garbage and electricity are two big topics on their own. I don't have enough expertise to comment on them. But if number of people living in city is controlled, it naturally reduces load on all other aspects of living.