Development, a painfully slow work in progress here

Development, a painfully slow work in progress here

The nine wards in KR Puram Assembly constituency have seen development only in pockets. Open sewage-filled drains, poorly lit streets and uncontrolled stray dog menace paint a picture of apathy and neglect.

Eight years ago, when KR Puram came under the expanded Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits, thousands harboured a faint hope that their roads, drains and waste collection would improve.

Today, on the threshold of big changes in the BBMP, the nine wards under the KR Puram constituency are still struggling with problems linked to sewage-filled stormwater drains, stray dogs, poorly lit streets, poor bus connectivity and more. Deccan Herald dives deep into the wards to take a hard look at their condition, talking directly to the residents. 

Ward 87: HAL Airport

For years, the Ambedkar Road linking Old Airport Road with the HAL Airport ward’s Islampur, LB Shastri Nagar, Jagdeeshnagar and other areas has remained untarred. Motorists struggle to get past the road infested with stray dogs. Poorly lit at many spots, danger lurks at every step. But the local ex-corporator blamed the contractor. The contractor has an excuse: Non-payment of dues by BBMP.

Interior roads have improved. But Shastrinagar resident, KE Ummer complained of water leakages in Cauvery pipelines and poor bus connectivity. Underground drainage lines that arrived only two years back is also prone to blockages.

26: Ramamurthy Nagar

Stray dogs and lack of bus shelters are synonymous with this ward spread cross 7.87 sq km. Repeated complaints by Ramamurthy Nagar Welfare Association to BBMP higher officials has not yielded much results. Their hopes are so low that residents do not expect much from a future councillor. Time and again, they have been duped by false promises.

Association president, AV Shamarao said: "Even at a busy junction on Holy Family Church Road, there is no bus shelter. Hundreds of college and schoolchildren occupy the road. This is dangerous. The ward is also called ‘Nayigala Nagara’ ( Dog city) due to the stray dog menace.” Open drainages are another bane of this ward.

For over 10 years, the Association has been demanding a public library, health centre and public toilets from BBMP but in vain.

52: KR Puram

Spread across 5.12 sq.kms, KR Puram (Ward No 52) has similar challenges of infrastructure and basic amenities. Although main roads have a better drainage system, interior streets raise a stink. Drainage chambers are often left open. A local resident, Raghavendra Rao, said drains are frequently blocked.

Traffic frequently gets piled up, specially at KR Puram market, near Government hospital and Ganesh temple. Motorists struggle. “It is dangerous and difficult to cross such busy junctions. More traffic cops should be deployed" said Pradeep Kumar, another resident.

Citizens also complained about the official apathy towards KR Puram lake, encroached by private builders.

25: Horamavu 

Replete with narrow lanes, Horamavu ward has an inevitable problem: Traffic jams. Motorists struggle the most at the Horamavu railway crossing.

Rajeev K, a motorist emphasised the urgent need for an overbridge or underpass at the crossing. Mounting traffic has increased waiting time at the crossing to over 20 minutess. 

Stray dogs are another recurring problem. Anushree A, a resident attributed the rise in the problem to dumping of garbage at roadsides and vacant plots. “Most of the empty plots are filled with waste and people in the vicinity are badly suffering. Although BBMP cleared silt from drains, they dumped it on the roadsides,” she pointed out. Lack of bus shelters are evident everywhere. A banyan tree has become a bus shelter near Gandhi Circle.    

81: Vignananagar

Proactive residents groups had teamed up to develop the 43-acre Vibuthipura lake in the vicinity of this ward. Those involved in this project now want the BBMP and a new corporator to ensure that no sewage gets into the lake. Kalpesh Shah, a resident living close to the lake, feels this could be done only when all houses are connected to UGD lines.

Two streets away, off Annasandrapalya, many cross roads have been asphalted barring one. Once the UGD lines were laid, this road was not even filled up properly. Residents said the local corporator never took up their cause. Their only hope now: the local MLA who paid a visit recently.

53: Basavanapura

Visitors to Basavanapura ward better carry a handkerchief as most roads here stink due to poor drainage system. Traders complain of rainwater mixed with sewage gushing into their shops. Ashok N, a trader, recalled how during the last rains, more than five shops on Basavanapura Main Road were flooded with the dirty water.

All fingers were pointed to a faulty stormwater drain (SWD) nearby. “The SWD is not fenced and buildings have encroached into it. It is filled with sewage and so, proper flow of water is blocked,” said another resident, Satish.

The Basavanapura main road, Krishna Theatre road and Nanjamma Layout - 3rd Cross road haven’t been asphalted for years.

56: A Narayanapura

Functional streetlights are a rarity in A Narayanapura ward. Even on main roads, there are no streetlights. Arjun, a vendor, said pedestrians and motorists struggle without lights on A Narayanapura main road and PWD road.

Complained Arun, “It is dangerous to even walk on the main road in the night as there are craters all over. We have lodged several complaints to the authorities with no result.”
Poor quality of water supplied is another grouse. BK Sharma, a resident of 7th Cross, A Narayanapura said, “We do not have any high hopes on elections." 

51: Vignanapura

Though the ward area is only 2.05 sq km, residents here face a mountain of civic issues. Those staying on 2nd main road and Jubilee School Road are the worst hit. The School Road, a two-way narrow lane is dreaded by motorists due to the presence of craters. The interior roads of Vignanapura are even worse. Only a handful are asphalted. 

Senior citizen Shanmugappa said, “The former councillor, P Sugumaran hardly interacted with us. The Palike does take up development works but executes them in a haphazard manner. While drainage improvements are undertaken, silt is dumped on the streets."

55: Devasandra

Acute water woes and encroached lakes plague Devasandra ward. Residents said Devasandra and B Narayanapura lakes that were once brimming with water are now dry patches of land. Encroached, the lakes are now garbage dumpyards of sorts. 

Kumar B L, a resident, said garbage collection is also improper. Pourakarmikas don’t turn up regularly. “Waste is dumped in drains, roadsides and sites.” Some citizens admitted they had not even known their corporator. They never got a chance to interact.

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