Sitting MLA bullishdespite three-way tie

Sitting MLA bullishdespite three-way tie

Chickpet congress candidate R V Devraj. Photo Srikanta Sharma R.Chickpet

The oldest business district in the city, visited by thousands, has several civic issues, starting from awful footpaths to bad roads and almost non-existent parking areas.

Clogged underground drains, stray menace and water scarcity are other issues dogging the Chickpet constituency, which was carved out of the Basavangudi, Chamarajpet and Jayanagar seats during the 2008 delimitation.

Landmark lung spaces like Lalbagh, Madhavan Park and M N Krishna Rao Park in the constituency present a contrast to the 68 slums stretching across the city centre, the most for any Assembly segment in the state.

“Poor garbage clearance, stray dogs, crumbling drainage system and water scarcity have been major issues here for several years,” said Pavan Nagappa, a resident of Sudamanagara ward. Due to lack of maintenance, sewage spews into the streets from manholes during the rainy season and creates serious health hazards, he said.

The constituency is made of seven BBMP wards: Sudhamanagar, Dharmaraya Swamy Temple, Sunkenahalli, Vishveshwara Puram, Siddapura, Hombegowda Nagar, and Jayanagar.

Kalasipalya area in the constituency has been notorious for poor cleanliness and piling garbage.

“Street vendors dump the garbage on the roadside and the authorities never clear them. All kinds of vehicles from bus to the two-wheelers are parked haphazardly, which further choke the roads here,” said Mohan Babu, president, Kalasipalya Residents’ Welfare Association.

In 2013, Congress candidate R V Devaraj won this seat by a margin of 13,059 votes.

Devaraj is back as a Congress candidate this time and is bullish about his prospects.

“People want me as their MLA as I’ve carried out many civic works here,” he said, listing out slum development, white-topping of roads, renovating bus stands, providing water and borewell connections to the slums as his accomplishments.

Having lost to Devaraj in 2013, businessman Uday B Garudachar of the BJP has returned as his challenger. “Most of the localities here haven’t seen major civic works for the past five years. People complain about several issues and are looking for a change,” Garudachar said.

Hemachandra Sagar, who won the constituency in 2008 on a BJP ticket, is contesting as the JD(S) candidate this time.