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'Readers' Connect' proves wake-up call

Bangalore, June 15, 2013, DHNS:  1:25 IST

Residents pour out woes galore at DH-PV event; officials promise action

Connecting people: ABide member Rajendra Kumar Mishra shares his view at the Readers' Connect programme organised by Prajavani and Deccan Herald, at Kadugodi on Saturday. (From left) PWD junior engineer D Sridhar, Seegehalli Gram Panchayat president Y Venkatesh, Kadugodi police inspector (Law and Order) Kantharaj B M and Whitefield police inspector  (Traffic) Nanjappa are seen.  DH Photo
Citizens living in the vicinity of Whitefield-Kadugodi poured out their civic woes at the ‘Readers’ Connect,’ a programme organised by Deccan Herald and Prajavani on Saturday.

With many landmark highrises and posh gated communities, Kadugodi-Whitefield is one of the fastest growing areas of ‘New Bangalore.’ However, civic issues continue to dog the area - pothole-ridden roads, flooding, garbage, defunct streetlights and unending khata woes of apartment dwellers.

Anantharaman Ramaswamy, coordinator, Bruhat Whitefield Residents’ Welfare Association, read out a charter of demands before a panel of officials comprising BBMP Joint Commissioner, K N Devaraj, Public Works Department (PWD) Superintending Engineer D Sridhar, BDA Assistant Engineer V T Chandrashekhar, Seegehalli Gram Panchayat president Y Venkatesh, Kadugodi police inspector (law and order) B M Kantharaj and Whitefield police inspector (traffic) Nanjappa.

ABide member, Rajendra Kumar Mishra, was the moderator for the interaction.
Ramaswamy put forth demands for better roads, maintenance of streetlights, shutting down liquor shops and evicting streetvendors.

“The State highway is encroached upon. The BBMP, PWD and the Gram Panchayat members should solve this problem,” said Ramaswamy. He also highlighted flooding during rainy season, causing water-logging.

Devaraj, the Palike’s Joint Commissioner, told the gathering that a portion of Bruhat Whitefield came under BBMP’s jurisdiction, while the rest of the area comes under the BDA and Gram Panchayat. He said the Palike would take up maintenance of roads, streetlights and de-silting of stormwater drains in the area which comes under its limits.

Srinivas from Chaitanya Ananya apartment emphasised on laying cement roads to minimise maintenance expenditure. Ashutosh from Sai Garden highlighted the problem of flooding in his apartment during heavy rains.

Another resident Madhusudan told the officials that the encroachment had reduced the width of State Highway to 30 feet at Belatur.

In response to the complaint of poor roads, Seegehalli Gram Panchayat president Venkatesh said funds would be allocated in the budget for the maintenance of roads.
Moderator R K Mishra said the area falls under the BDA, which collects betterment charges, but spends very little on the infrastructure in the area.

Tax and khata

Confusion over payment of property tax is a major problem people confront here. Participants said they have no idea whom they should pay the property tax to, since the area comes under the three governing bodies - BBMP, BDA and Gram Panchayat.

BDA engineer Chandrashekhar said the issue will be discussed with the revenue officers.
However, Ambareesh, the Secretary of the Seegehalli Gram Panchayat, said they have permission to collect taxes only for six-storey buildings, including ground floor.

Referring to demand for khata by apartment dwellers, Devaraj said he will ensure the khatas are issued if the residents approached his office with sale deed, occupancy certificate and previous khata extracts.

The residents complained of garbage being dumped all along the Whitefield-Hoskote Road and the defunct sewage treatment plants in many apartments.
They demanded a separate fire station in the area and reflectors on roads.

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