Short essay on bangalore city | Ackrufy

In the aspect of nurturing flora and fauna, the situation in Bangalore is quite complex. With prominent green spaces like Lalbagh and Cubbon Park almost at the city centre and a few water bodies, such as Ulsoor, Sankey, Lalbagh, Yediyur and Madiwala, scattered across city’s landscape, the remaining green spaces in the periphery harbour a great number of species. In a compilation of fauna present in and around Bangalore within a radius of 40 km from city centre (), about 40 species of mammals, more than 340 species of birds, 38 species of reptiles, 16 species of amphibians, 41 species of fishes and 160 species of butterflies have been recorded. A new ‘ant’ species, Dilobocondyla bangalorica, was discovered in Bangalore recently (). In another study, have investigated the floral assemblage in different land-use categories and the changes in vegetation over Bangalore City. 164 species were identified in different residential areas, of which 149 were recorded within compounds and 87 were avenue trees. The rich diversity speaks for the volume of life still persisting in spite of rapid urban growth.

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Bangalore is the principal administrative, cultural, commercial, industrial, and knowledge capital of the state of Karnataka. Greater Bangalore, an area of 741 square kilometres agglomerating the city, neighbouring municipal councils and outgrowths, was ‘notified’ (established) in December 2006 ( and ). A tiny village in the 12th century, it grew to become one of the fastest growing cities in the world by the 21st century and to figure among the million-plus cities in India. Bangalore has grown spatially more than ten times since 1949 ().The city enjoys a pleasant and salubrious climate throughout the year. Its tree-lined streets, numerous parks and abundant greenery have led to it being called the 'Garden City' of India. It has also been identified as the country’s ‘Silicon Valley’ and it is one of the technological innovation hubs with a technological achievement index (TAI) of 13 according to the Human Development Report (). However, with all the hype about growth in IT and IT based industries, Bangalore also houses numerous other leading commercial and educational institutions, and industries like textiles, aviation, space, biotechnology, etc. As an immediate consequence of this growth in the last decade, apart from creating a ripple effect in the local economy, there has also been great pressure on infrastructure and resources like water supply, energy, public transportation, land, etc. The local body and other parastatal agencies responsible for delivery of basic services are facing stiff challenges in catering to this demand.

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Addressing mobility in Bangalore city, an overview of transportation and traffic reveals the following facts. Bangalore city is estimated to have vehicle population of about 2.6 million while the current city population is about 7 million. The vehicle to person ratio is far higher than any other city in India. This has led to increased congestion in road networks across the city and frequent traffic jams. Manning signalling at traffic islands have also become unmanageable with the amount of traffic plying across junctions. Again, in this sector different components related to mobility are vested with different parastatal bodies.

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Planning in the form of land use zoning and regulation are vested with Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), a parastatal agency, in spite of the he 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, passed by the national parliament in 1993. This Act requires that the planning function be vested with the (elected) urban local body and not with any parastatal agency. But, in the case of Bangalore, the Corporation have not been granted adequate powers by the State to plan, decide and administer their city! Furthermore, the State has created numerous other organisations of its own to manage various services such as water supply, law and order, energy, etc, The result is the existence of many parastatal organisations, each acting in its own geographic area, leading to complication and confusion in coordinating different activities. Apart from the issue of a common geographical unit and the lack of coordinated effort, even basic information related to different sectors is extremely difficult to collect, collate and to correlate. For effective planning it is imperative that all the basic information is gathered across a common geographical unit with the effect of creating a robust city information system. In addition to the official bodies, civil society of Bangalore is known for its vibrant community participation. The spectrum of their activities ranges from literacy and green brigades to urban governance, ensuring continuous interactions with the local administration. Notable spheres of activity of these non-governmental organisations (NGOs) include: improving urban governance by Citizens Voluntary Initiative for the City (CIVIC) and Janaagraha; improving living conditions in slums by AWAS, APSA, Paraspara, etc.; addressing child literacy by Prerana and the India Literacy Project; taking on environmental issues by the Environment Support Group, Hasiru Usiru, etc. Apart from the NGOs, there are numerous resident welfare associations, trade and commercial organisations, and professional organisations that have played a major role in some of the important activities of local bodies and influencing their decision-making. Civil society has contributed considerably in shaping the policies and governance structures and has always intervened whenever there has been any apathy on the part of the administration towards activities of interest to society at large. An experiment to promote public private partnership and bring together citizens, NGOs, industry representatives and the erstwhile local bodies resulted in “Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF)”. This experiment was about to be benchmarked as one of the ‘best practices’ in urban local governance, when it faced strong criticisms from several civil society groups for setting aside priorities favouring the urban poor and was accused of making a back door entry towards policy making (). In the event, the activities of BATF came to a standstill with the change of guard at the State government two years ago and it is currently dormant. Another instance of strong action by civil society groups, was seen when the local government started tree felling and pruning for road widening. Members of the green brigade, Hasiru Usiru, staged protests, held an all night vigil, stormed the Commissioner’s office and also moved to High Court and finally got the actions stayed. The High Court also ruled later that Hasiru Usiru members should inspect the trees along with the designated Tree Officer from the Forest Department before any tree felling and pruning of branches was begun.