Problems galore in New Bangalore

Garbage Problems

In Rajarajeshwarinagar, for instance, the JP Park and other revenue pockets are sitting on heaps of garbage.

A local resident of JP Park, Mahadevappa said the garbage collectors do not come to the area on a regular basis.

"There are a few party halls which generate a lot of garbage. When the garbage collectors do not come, the entire area gets flooded with litter on the roadside. Things have improved after the BBMP elections as some accountability is seen but earlier the scene was very pathetic," says Mahadevappa.

Garbage collection happens once in two days in Bhuvaneshwari Nagar and surrounding wards of Dasarahalli. However, the collection time may vary and many a times people dump garbage on private empty sites. "Even if the garbage van comes and collects garbage from common dumping areas, they don't do a good job," says Krishaiah, a resident of the area.

Krishnaraja Puram, which is already beset by other issues of drainage and water problem, also has the same problem.

Irregular

Garbage collection is irregular and many are forced to dump waste in the stormwater drains.

This oft-seen practice naturally leads to flooding particularly during the monsoon season.

“When the collectors do come, they only bring a small tractor which is insufficient. There are over 25,000 residents in this area , most of whom are forced to dump their garbage in open areas,” says a resident.

Underground Drainage Problems

The concept of Under Ground Drainage (UGD) is still in its infancy in most of the new BBMP areas. The problem is particularly stark in KR Puram. Residents here complain of unscientific drainage systems.

Mohammad Arif Khan, a resident of Vijnanapura locality says ”When we do get water from the government, it is often mixed with sewage. Our children who inadvertently drink this water, fall ill and it is difficult to pay their medical expenses.” This water, though scarce in supply, is unusable.

“The councillor visits the ward only prior to the elections. The only officials to visit regularly are the tax collectors. We have decided to stop paying our taxes until better facilities are provided.” says Khan. However, the residents of Mahadevapura are largely satisfied with the drainage system. Though there are many open drains in the area, rainwater does not overflow and flood the area.

In Rajarajeswarinagar, the most problematic zone is JP Park but in the recent past some measures were initiated by the Palike to bring some order in the area. Still, a majority of revenue pockets in JP Park and other areas of RR Nagar zone do not have UGDs.

Residents of Bhuvaneshwari Nagar and Nele Maheshwari Temple Road, in Dasarahalli, have not seen anyone from BBMP clean the UGDs for years together. In Soundaryanagar, the work on UGD began only a year ago.

"Before this the sewage used to be collected in a pit," says Uday Kumar of Sounda­ryanagar Welfare Association.

In Kempegowda Nagar, UGD work is underway. However, residents are not happy with the quality of work.

"This is the first time UGD is being created here," says K R Krishnaiah, a resident.

Road Problems

Before the BBMP elections, the MLAs of the areas coming under the newly added localities made a conscious decision to woo voters: Road development, because a
developed, newly asphalted street is a conspicuous way to impress people about progress, however thin the tar.

This is very evident in many pockets of KR Puram and Mahadevapura. The main roads are well-made, barring a few potholes. Yet, there are several bylanes and alleys that are in a pitiable condition. Several construction sites dump sand and stones on these roads making it impossible to travel on them. The kutcha roads are
especially in need of attention.

Traffic congestion is a frequent phenomena here and many are hopelessly trapped in hour-long gridlocks. “The small tunnel on Kasturi Road creates a traffic jam everyday. Several motorists try to take this route as it is a shortcut.” says Shafi, a resident of Ramakrishna Reddy Layout. The Rajarajeshwarinagar area has many roads in good condition. In many revenue pockets the Palike built concrete roads to get rid of pot holes. It has worked well and many roads are in good shape.


Other Problems

Residents of both KR Puram and Mahadevapura  complain that bus connectivity is an issue that needs attention. Somashekar, a software engineer, says that he is forced to use his bike as the nearest bus stand is a kilometre away.

Sahil, a student from KR Puram, says “To get to the bus stand I have to walk for almost two kilometres.  Autodrivers charge over fifty rupees for this trip. To make matters worse, I also have to cross the railway tracks.”

Many students who attend Hilal School also make this dangerous journey everyday. “There have been many accidents in the area” rues Arif Khan.

On a more positive note, the BBMP has managed to provide basic facilities like streetlights in most of the new wards. Though maintainence is irregular, the streetlights have helped keep the streets safe. Preethi, who runs a manufacturing unit says: “The area is much safer now that the streetlights are installed. However I wish that the bars in the area are shut down, many of my employees waste their money there and don’t turn up for work the next day.”

When asked to rate the BBMP’s role in the development of their area, residents unanimously said that there had only been a 20 per cent to 30 per cent  improvement in the region. The BBMP should address these citizens concerns and improve the situation in these areas.

A key issue highlighted by residents in Bhuvaneshwari Nagar, T Dasarahalli is the maintenance of the Nele Maheshwari Temple park. According to residents, Rs seven crore had been sanctioned for the planning and building of the park during the CMC regime. However, the BBMP had failed to take it forward and has even claimed that all the work in the park is over. In reality, the park is in a dismal condition, ill maintained and water from the borewell, which was dug up for the park, is being diverted to certain houses, residents said.

Contrast this with the beautiful gardens, well maintained parks, pristine temples, lush green valleys, good houses and clean roads that abound in Rajarajeshwari Nagar. In this plush locality you rarely find people complaining about civic problems. The only complaint people have is vacant sites here and improper garbage collection mechanism at times.

With inputs from: Chetan Kumar, G Manjusainath, Rashmi Menon, Joseph Thomas and Shoaib Shaikh

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