|Electronics City: Nov. 8th
|Today its off to InfoSys in "Electronics
City" via Hosur Road. Electronics City is the "Great Hope" of Bangalore. In
an attempt to grow revenue, the city fathers created a technology park. This park would
have guaranteed power and tax advantages to any software company that would come
reside in it. In addition, since Indian phones are so bad, they would give you about half
of an ISDN connection, for a $100,000 a year. Bangalores planners located the City
about 30 kilometers outside of town, because land was cheap. Then they built all the
diesel generation facilities. Then they waited, and waited, and waited.
|Build a better mousetrap and the entire world will beat a
path to your door. Unfortunately, the path to Electronic City is Hosur Road. Relief in the
form of the occasional 200-meter paved section punctuates the road's backbreaking,
crater-size potholes. Still Jude must be careful; these new smooth sections have carefully
laid "speed brakes" that are about 8 inches high. It takes us an hour to reach
InfoSys, at our average speed of 15 miles per hour. Mind-boggling 3 to 4 hour traffic jams
result whenever a bullock cart hits a car or a truck lorry breaks down.
Bangalores planners hope to finish the road in a "couple of
years", at which point they want to start building the international airport. Today I
saw a cartoon of a civil servant telling his politician boss, "Yes sahib, absolutely
sahib, we must get to the 21st century sahib.. But one step at time sahib,
first 19th, then 20th, then 21st."
|The road has the typical melange of roadside attractions,
sawmills, wood stores, plastic stool emporiums, South and North Indian veg. food
"hotels" (the Indian form of a street vendor), and every so often an incredibly
rich building, housing some American or German company. My personal favorite is
Novells facility. It is a 2 story gray and red job, with an interior atrium, and a
long gray concrete block fence about the entire facility. As you drive by, you can see
several Indian males doing what comes naturally when they see a concrete fence - pissing
on it. Texas Instruments has located their facilities in downtown Bangalore, across from
the police station. No one pisses in front of TI.