Udupi and Bangalore in July 2010

I am just back from a two week vacations from Udupi and Bangalore. Thought that I should share some of my experience with you all:

• AirInda-Express tragedy of 22nd May 2010 appears to have helped Jet Airways. Further, AirIndia Express is very erratic these days as many Mangalore flights (from Gulf States) land-up in Cochin and Calicut. Jet Airways has links to Mangalore from Mumbai on daily basis and I found quite a few Mangalore bound passengers taking this route (I too did the same).

• Bangalore is dug up for Namma Metro and various fly-overs. It is a pain to reach places like Vijayanagar from BTM Lay-out. But the brighter side is that with fly-overs and Metro, the traffic scene in Bangalore may improve by leaps and bounds in about two years time. For Example, the fly-over to Electronic City from Silk Board junction has come-up well and travelling on this seems like taking a flight.

• My son joined WIPRO from 12th July 2010. We were there at their office in Electronic City which employs about 20,000. Apart from Electronic City, WIPRO has offices at many other locations in Bangalore. They must be employing thousands in Bangalore. They also have presence in many other cities including Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad etc. Incidentally, my son will be posted as Project Engineer in their Chennai Office, after completing his training.

• Roads in other towns in Karnataka are in better shape than October last year. We traveled on BH Road (Bangalore – Honnavar Road) from Bangalore to Honnavar and the this road is in much better condition. Double roads have been laid in towns like Arasikere which look good.

• Shimoga is getting the best attention. Roads (that too concrete roads) are being built all around and town is sporting a much better look. Being CM’s constituency has its advantages. Road from Shimoga to Bhadravati is much better than the newly laid Udupi-Manipal Road.

• Jog Falls did not have much flow even at the height of monsoon. It appears monsoon is a bit deficient this year.

• Udupi town is sporting traffic lights but these are not operational yet. Hope traffic lights with well marked roads will improve traffic scene in Udupi. Car-street is now vehicle free and a visit to “Mitra Samaj” (a renowned Udupi Restaurant) has to be made on foot.

• Bangalore property scene is not encouraging. Some prestigious developments in and around Malleswaram appeared to be too costly and shabbily built.

Way to Go…..SBI Udupi and Mangalore

As German Team sailed through the Argentine waters effortlessly (with some good support from Argentina’s keeper), I was having a different kind of experience at State Bank Day celebrated by Udupi branch. The day of celebration was 3rd July 2010 (yesterday) as it was Saturday and staff will be free to organize.

What I liked most about the celebration were the felicitations of (a) a renowned teacher (actually a couple who both are teachers), (b) meritorious students of 10th and 12th standards of the Udupi district and (c) Adoption of three girl students from an institution – this means State Bank, Udupi branch will bear their education expenses till undergraduation.

Besides, there was felicitation of the best employee of the year of the branch. This is one of the great tradition of this branch.

There was also variety entertainment and distribution of prizes to winners of various competitions held for staff and their family members.Mr Vishwantah Kotekar, CM of the branch and Mr Harisha, manager PBD were instrumental in the success of this program which was very well attended.

I was asked to be on the stage as Chief Guest and it was a great moment for me. This was the second time for me to be a part of the Udupi branch efforts in community service.Before this, I was present when Udupi branch staff donated relief materials to flood victims in October 2009.

Here I should also mention that when the AirIndia Express tragedy happened at Mangalore on 22nd May 2010, State Bank of India – Mangalore branch extended all the help to the families of the victims. They saw that the most important help needed was to execute affidavits by the families of the victims for claiming the mortal remains of their dear ones and AGM (Mr C.M.Tallur) of Mangalore branch immediately arranged for lawyers from Bank’s panel to be at the spot to help out. The AGM and staff members also visited homes of victims and helped in processing their claims. As a result, I understand, almost all the claimants opened accounts at SBI, Mangalore and deposited the relief money paid by the Government and Insurance. One of the survivors also visited the branch and had lunch with staff members.

Incidentally no other bank guys were part of relief efforts soon after the tragedy.