BBMP laxity: Whitefield slums in the dark for 2 weeks

BBMP laxity: Whitefield slums in the dark for 2 weeks

Labour sheds have been suffering the lack of electricity at Thubaranahalli, Whitefield in Bengaluru on Sunday. Photo by S K Dinesh

Migrant workers in the slums of Thubarahalli and Kundalahalli near Whitefield are distressed over a two-week power outage, with the BBMP not responding to letters from their supporters.

A group of organisations and individuals functioning under the banner ‘Bengaluru for Thubarahalli and Kundalahalli’ accused the government of denying basic facilities to the slum dwellers, who face the threat of eviction by the police and the BBMP.

Some of them were evicted two weeks ago, but they obtained a stay order from the court.

Supporters of the slum dwellers are now demanding that the BBMP provide drinking water, streetlights, power and other basic amenities to the twin slums. The power outage has made life miserable for the slum dwellers, they added.

“We approached Bescom, asking the reasons for the blackout. They told us that the BBMP,  Mahadevapura zone, wrote to them to snap the power lines to the slums. The Palike doesn’t own up to what it said,” a member of ‘Bengaluru for Thubarahalli and Kundalahalli’ said.

“Students struggle to study without power and women are too scared to venture out in the evenings,” the member added.

BBMP officials said they are not responsible for the power cut. “Landowners who rented the place have snapped the power supply. The government is not accountable when the area is owned by private landholders. It is the responsibility of landholders to provide basic facilities,” a BBMP official said.

Local corporator Swetha Vijaykumar H R highlighted the issue of the slum dwellers burning garbage.

“There’s rampant burning of solid waste in the slums, which causes pollution and is harming the health of both the slum dwellers and others. The BBMP was supposed to evict them, but they secured a stay order. They should at least stop setting fire to garbage,” Swetha said. 

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