Alongside beautiful parks, old Gulmohar trees, Sepian Victorian houses, and broad roads, Pulakeshinagar also has to deal with underdeveloped wards which require immediate attention and upgradation.
Although the main roads of Pulakeshinagar are relatively clean, “irregular” garbage clearance is the bane of the bylanes and streets of the ward. Despite being the hub of a number of eateries, regular and systematic garbage collection has been undermined.
Drinking water contamination is another problem which erupts in pockets of DJ Halli, Kaval Byrasandra and Sagayapuram. Pulakeshinagar, one of the oldest areas in the City, was established with smaller water and drain pipes catering to a few houses in the Cantonment areas.
However, as the area developed fast into a residential hub, the replacement of the water and drainage pipes did not keep pace with the growing population. This has been one major reason for the rampant water contamination leading to outbreak of diseases during summer.
Muthuswamy, a resident of Pottery Town, points to another lacuna: the lack of a good general hospital for citizens below the poverty line. “There is an old government maternity hospital in Pottery town in a dilapidated condition. It would help the entire residential pocket in and around S K Garden, Tannery Road, D J Halli, if the old hospital is renovated as a general hospital,” Muthuswamy said.
Ratnamma rued that drinking water is available only once a week, for two hours, in Sagayapuram. “Most of the time, women have to get up at 3 am or 4 am to fill water. If we miss water during the early hours, we will have to buy drinking water. In summer, water scarcity gets so worse that we end up spending nearly Rs 1,000 a month just to buy drinking water.”
Other problems facing the ward are the slow pace of road-widening projects, inability of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to provide drinking water and thereby pushing residents towards illegal water connections in D J Halli, Sagayapuram and Kaval Byrasandra; lack of proper garbage collection and disposal. These have made the ward’s residents vulnerable to diseases such as chikungunya, typhoid, malaria and stray dog menace.
E T Ponnukutan, Executive Member, Richards Town Citizens’ Association:
“There is a dire need to replace the water and drainage pipes in Sagayapuram. Despite repeated requests, the BWSSB has not responded. The civic authorities and service providers have failed to restore roads after they complete the road-cutting works for laying underground cables. Water contamination and lack of garbage collection facility has resulted in the outbreak of diseases in these areas.”
Prasanna Kumar, MLA, Pulakeshinagar Assembly constituency
“Apart from the acute water shortage, garbage collection and disposal are major challenges in Sagayapuram, DJ Halli, Kaval Byrasandra and Kushal Nagar. A proposal to collect the garbage twice a day is still pending. Upgradation of the Government Maternity Hospital to a General Hospital has not been looked into. Illegal and unauthorised water connection, coupled with water contamination is rampant in these wards due to water scarcity.”