Old locality faces new problems


Basavanagudi constituency is one of the oldest localities of Bangalore with a history of almost three hundred years. The area has some very old houses, temples, gardens, community halls, public buildings for cultural events and spiritual organisations.
With the advent of technology and the increasing needs of a fast growing city, many infra-structure projects are coming up around Basavanagudi, bringing a sea-change in the area. Basavanagudi may be sacrificing a lot in the next five or ten years and in order to cater to the growing needs of the city, it may not remain the same in future, feel the residents.

“We do not have problems as such in Basavanagudi. Sometimes the garbage heaps in our locality causes a lot of inconvenience but this problem persist everywhere in Bangalore. We are adjusting ourselves to it. Yet I feel we should have a proper garbage disposal system,” said Krishnamurthy, a resident of Basavanagudi.
Appaled with the destruction of trees in and around Basavanagudi in the name of development, Krishnamurthy said Bangalore was known for greenery but we are now replacing it with concrete jungle. People say this is development, Murthy remarks satirically.

Model storm water drain
The regular flooding and the collapsing of major storm water drains may be a problem elsewhere but not at Channamma Tank Bed storm water drain. Its exemplary design prevents overflowing, flooding and choking.
“This is the best storm water drain, which should be followed by others. There is no clogging, water-logging in this storm water drain. Clearing the garbage inside this storm water drain is also quite easy for the sanitary workers”, said a former Councillor of the area B S Sathyanarayana, also known as Katte Sathya.

The lung space in Basavanagudi with lush green parks landscaping both sides of the roads in many areas is now threatened with a number of infrastructure projects. Though Metro Rail project has not made inroads to Basavanagudi constituency, the KR Road, which was also identified as Basavanagudi looks like a battle zone with number of trees being chopped off in the name of development. Another underpass is coming up at Vidyapeetha Circle to ease the traffic.
Basavanagudi MLA Ravi Subramanya is in no mood to take risk and face ire of his voters, who have a strong objection to the proposed Tagore Circle underpass.
 “I am quite clear about the Vidyapeetha underpass. We will not go ahead with the project unilaterally. Instead, we would seek public opinion,” said Ravi Subramanya.

Rising pollution
Due to the various infrastructure projects around Basavanagudi, people complain that they are developing broncho-vascular problems.
“For asthmatic people like us, these projects are posing a great danger. Already a number of trees have been chopped off, where dust could have settled. Now the suspended particles are increasing in Basavanagudi also. Not all the infrastructure projects be carried at a time. This will save asthmatic people like us,” said a middle-aged Seethalakshmi, a resident of NR Colony.

Garbage woes
The poor garbage disposal system here has led to piling up of  garbage in some areas with people complaining that the ragpickers are doing the job of garbage collectors here.  “As compared to other parts of Bangalore, our area is best in terms of garbage disposal but yet it is not up to the mark. Some people are throwing garbage in the storm water drains, which is choking it,” said Sathyanarayana, the ex-councillor.

VOICES
B S Sathyanarayana, ex-councillor: Problems in Basavanagudi are not big like the ones found in other areas. The sanitary lines are as old as 50 years and need to be changed.  We have got model storm water drain.

A Narasimha Murthy:
I live at N R Colony, which now-a-days is known as ‘Narrow Road Colony’. Though densely populated area, it is calm and serene. You can walk alone even at midnight here.

In conversation
Ravi Subramanya, MLA,
Basavanagudi
People in Basavanagudi do not have  much to  complain barring the Tagore Circle underpass project. But why is development work in Kathriguppe not up to the mark?
It is a compliment to  me that Basavanagudi has less problems. Kathriguppe is  a newly added area in the constituency after delimitation. We have taken up the area for development and are bringing in some plan in many unsystematically designed areas.

You represent an area which is well-developed. Yet what kind of complaints do you receive from the masses?
It is true that many parts of Basavanagudi are well developed but newly added areas are posing a challenge. In old areas also, the sewerage and water lines are almost 50-year-old and need replacement. Garbage disposal is a problem. Everyday I do the rounds of  one ward  from 8 am to 1 pm to know the problems  there.

What are the major projects coming up in your constituency?
The Vidyapeetha underpass is a pending project. Funds have been sanctioned for it but the only thing required is people’s opinion. Without people’s view we will not go ahead with this project. We are starting Bangalore One and an E-Library at Vidyapeetha circle.
Other projects are- development of the Kempambudhi Tank, upgradation of Dhobi Ghat at a cost of   Rs 1.4 crore, development of sports ground at a cost of  Rs 2.5 cr, a Rs 2.75 cr project for  developing Ring Road at Banashankari 3rd stage, multi-purpose hall for women’s organisations and upgrading the maternity Hospital.

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