Space crunch leaves no room for development in some wards

Residential blocks, industries compete for limited land in Kamakshipalya

Space crunch leaves no room for development in some wards

The seven wards in Rajajinagar Assembly constituency seem to be caught in a gridlock. One of the most densely populated areas in BBMP, Rajajinagar is an unblending mix of  traditional residential localities peppered with industrial units.

Basaveshwaranagar, Sri Ramamandira, Shivanagar and Rajajinagar wards are better developed while three other wards Dayanandanagar, Prakashnagar and Kamaksipalya are struggling to keep up with modernity and the onset of commercial developments.

A trip in the wards and one gets a feeling that there is no scope for improvement. Every available space has been occupied and chaos looms large. In Indiranagar, in Shivanagar ward and Karekallu in Kamakshipalya ward, people literally live in pigeon-hole houses - having to place the furniture of their households outside during nights to spread their beds and sleep.

A sense of claustrophobia sets in as one takes the never-ending labyrinth of footpath-less narrow roads and lack of open space in the locality.

In Meenakshinagar in Kamakshipalya ward, it is a fight between small scale industries and residential houses in the limited space available. The industrialists and residents blame each other for occupying their space. “We have been residing here for more than 40 years, the industrial units started coming in the mid 80s. They have now made life miserable for us due to sound and air pollution,” says Raju Gowda, a local resident.

The locality has a wide range of industrial units such as fabrication, printing, dye-making, baking among others, an off-shoot of the nearby, now saturated Rajajinagar Industrial Estate in Sri Ramamandira ward. The industries, on their part, state that the residential houses came up after the industrial units were set up. But the industries are ready to move out if the government provides them alternative sites elsewhere.

The wide main roads in Basaveshwaranagar contrasts with the narrow by-lanes of interior Saneguravanahalli, Manjunathnagar and LIC Colony. Erratic road cutting and blocked drains are a perennial problem for residents here. Waterlogging and flooding was common in Bhovi colony houses during rains but the drain works are now being attended to.  The residents also point out that the roads have not been asphalted for several years.

A few years back, the adjacent Shivanagar was dotted with slums but has witnessed development. Today, residents of the Indiranagar slum in the ward get regular water supply, garbage is cleared on a daily basis and khatas have also been issued. 

But the chaos and clutter continue in the ward. Lack of space has resulted in available footpath space being turned into parking lots. The people here have a good opinion about outgoing corporator Manjunath who they state attends to their grievances. However, Manjunath will not be able to contest in the forthcoming BBMP polls as the ward has been reserved for women.

There are no major civic issues for residents of Sri Ramamandira ward comprising the areas of Rajajinagar IV Block, V Block, VI B Block, Bhashyamnagar among others. People have time to talk about related BBMP issues like the proposed division of the civic body.

“It is a good proposal as it will lead to competition among different corporations. Decentralisation always helps in better administration and governance,” says Prasanna R, a marketing manager.

The least developed and most problematic ward is Dayanandanagar. Nestled between Srirampura and Okalipura, residents here complain of lack of proper maintenance by BBMP authorities. Uncleared garbage, waterlogging and blocked drains have led to mosquito menace in the area, says resident Annayappa. Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) too seems to have neglected the locality as it recently pulled out its bus service to Shivajinagar - route 79B. Residents now have to walk nearly 1.5 km to Devaiah Park or Swasthik to avail bus services.

The large number of bars in the area are also proving to be a nuisance. Some of the bars open as early as 4 am, a resident said. At Rajagopal Iyer Layout in the ward, narrow roads have been dug for laying of new sanitary lines. The residents complain that the new pipes are of inferior quality.

A semblance of a main road from Dayanandanagar leads to Prakashnagar ward. Incomplete drain work pose a danger to life and limbs of people here with gaping holes on the recently laid footpath on the main road in the area.

Gayathri, a fashion designer, said that the drain had been left open for the past two months now.

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