So near to Soudha, yet so far from facilities

Janaspandana: Residents of Pulakeshinagar complain about drug menace, official neglet

MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy addressing at the DH&PV Janaspandana at Pottery town in Bengaluru on Saturday 5th January 2019. (From left) Mohammed Zameer Shah Corporator SK Garden ward, R Sampath Raj Corporator Devarajeevanahalli ward, Abdul Rakib Zakir Corporator Pulakeshinagar ward, Syed Sajid Corporator Muneshwara Nagara ward and Umme Salma Corporator Kushal Nagar ward are also seen. (DH Photo by Janardhan B K)

The Pulakeshinagar Assembly constituency is just about five kilometres from the seat of power but is beset with countless civic and social problems. 

If erratic water supply, lack of drinking water connections, bad roads, poor garbage collection, stinking black spots and lack of streetlights were not enough, the constituency spread over central and eastern Bengaluru now has a new problem at hand: drug menace. 

Lack of policing is turning young people from Benson Town and the surrounding areas into drug peddlers and addicts, residents chorused in unison at ‘Janaspandana–Citizens for Change’, a civic grievance redress programme organised by DH and Prajavani in Pottery Town on Saturday. 

Pulakeshinagar MLA, R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy, and local corporators took questions from residents and promised to solve them within a given timeframe. 

Nalini Iyer, a resident of Fraser Town, complained about how St John’s Cross near Robertson Road had become a huge garbage black spot with people driving in and throwing unsegregated garbage there. 

“We segregate waste and give it to pourakarmikas (municipal workers), but they mix it again. The BBMP must educate them about sorting garbage,” she said. 

Promenade Road, a prominent thoroughfare, is also turning into a garbage black spot, according to residents. Junaitha Jayanth, a resident, complained that Bescom workers had cut the branches of trees and dumped them there. “People can’t even walk on the footpath,” she said. 

In response, an official from the BBMP’s solid waste management (SWM) department attributed the problem to the confusion about the newly-appointed supervisor but promised to solve it within a week. 

Speaking about rising drug addiction among youths, Anthony Jerry, a resident of SK Garden, said: “We find young boys smoking ganja in almost every street. Despite several complaints, police haven’t taken any stringent action. The tribe of drug peddlers is only growing.” 

Zulfi Sulthan, a resident of Coles Park, highlighted that women drivers were not safe. “Guys follow us while we are riding on the road. College boys do drag racing and wheelies on many roads in the area,” she said. 

Responding to the questions, A R Zakir, Corporator, Pulakeshinagar, directed the police to immediately crack down on drug peddlers and youths doing wheelies and drag racing. He suggested that women facing problems from male riders note down the vehicle number and complain to the police. 

Police promised to intensify beat patrolling at night with Hoysala patrol cars to tackle drug peddlers. 

M K Pullaiah, of SK Garden, said at least 30 streetlights had stopped working in the ward and that it had become dangerous to walk on the footpath after sunset. 

Responding to several complaints from residents about poor street lighting in the ward, SK Garden Corporator Mohammed Zameer Shah said new LED streetlights had arrived and that they would be installed today (Saturday) itself. 

Lack of adequate drinking water was another complaint raised by residents. Julie, a resident, said they get drinking water only once a week. A BWSSB official attributed the lack of drinking water supply in the past week to a “technical issue” but said the problem had been solved and that water would be supplied every other day. 

Grievances There is a huge traffic jam at the Netaji Road signal because the free left turn remains banned for over a year now. This is causing huge problems for motorists. 

Mohammed Afzar, 
resident

responses: We are planning to redevelop the road at a cost of Rs 17 lakh. Once the road is rebuilt, we will allow the free left turn. 

R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy, MLA

Grievances: There are no CCTV cameras or public toilets in Fraser Town. The footpaths have been unscientifically designed. 

Nalini Iyer, Fraser Town

 

responses: We are planning to instal 57 CCTV cameras in the Assembly constituency. Besides, wherever needed, we will build e-toilets and clear encroachments from footpaths to ensure seamless pedestrian movement.

R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, MLA

 

Grievances: The authorities should display all the information related to projects in the ward office. This will transparency in the administration. 

Junaitha Jayanth, resident

 

responses: Information related to ward committees will be updated on the BBMP website. Information related to various projects is already available on the website.

R Sampath Raj, Corporator, DJ Halli

 

Grievances: There is no proper drinking water facility for students at the Featherlite Pottery Town Government School.

Anthony Jerry, Pottery Town

 

responses: The BWSSB has stopped the water supply to the school over the non-payment of the bill. I have decided to pay the bill. Henceforth, there will be no problem of drinking water at the school.

A R Zakir, Corporator, Pulakeshinagar

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So near to Soudha, yet so far from facilities

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