The remains of the day

The remains of the day

Ugly Face

The remains of the day

The flyovers may belong to motorists, but below them, it is squatters’ raj. Encroachment is not only rampant but whatever little space is available between pillars is stacked with all sorts of things from old worn-out mattresses to discarded vehicle spare parts.

Of late, this space is also used as a dumping yard for garbage. While the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is grappling about measures to tackle the growing garbage menace in the City, it seems to have no time to check the spaces below some of the flyovers that are turning into dump yards.

It’s not only garbage, these spaces seem to be the chosen spot to dump construction material as well. Most of the flyovers in the City are either constructed by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) or the BBMP. Both the government bodies had plans to beautify these empty spaces but none of them seem to have made much effort to realise that. vendors, debris below flyovers, animal-drawn carts, traffic violations on and near flyovers and traffic jams are a common sight at most flyovers in the City.  M Lakshminarayana, commissioner, BBMP, says the BBMP has not given up efforts to clear the dump below flyovers and ensure that the space is clean. “We will look into the matter of clearing the debris and garbage under these flyovers at the earliest. But people must be partners with us in cleaning up the City. We didn’t have much cooperation from the people when we introduced segregation and now again people continue to throw waste in any available open space. That must stop,” he urges. The officials in the BDA seemed just as indifferent as those in the BBMP to the debris below flyovers. 

   A senior office with the BDA says, “We have taken up the spaces below a few of the flyovers, for beautification but it is given out on contract basis and the contractors work at their pace. It is not like we haven’t done anything at all. There are bigger issues nagging the City, for instance, ensuring better connectivity and reducing traffic jams.”   

The issue of safety also crops up. If garbage can be stacked in these spaces, then why not something more dangerous? 

   The patrolling police need to work overtime to ensure that these spaces are free of such stacking. Additional commissioner of police (law and order) Kamal Pant doesn’t seem to know that there was stuff pushed into these spaces. “I didn’t know of such a thing. I will work with the BBMP to get it removed,” he says. 

People think indifference in maintaining the City’s infrastructure gives rise to such problems. 

John, a professional, thinks, “There must be regular patrolling across the City, especially under flyovers, and it is also sad that this space which could have been done up is being wasted. Garbage dumping must be stopped.” 

Benjamin, an IT professional, too shares his view when he says, “Forget development, across the City, the empty spaces are slowly being converted into dump yards and it stinks when one passes by the space below flyovers.”