Whitefield turns into 'protest zone'

Whitefield turns into 'protest zone'

Residents hit the streets demanding better infra as part of #SaveWhitefield campaign

Whitefield turns into 'protest zone'

 The pent-up frustrations of the Whitefield residents over the unsolved civic woes came to the fore on Monday with thousands of them staging a demonstration at the International Technology Park Limited (ITPL) as part of the #SaveWhitefield protest.

Unlike usual Mondays when they would sit at their desks doing their jobs, the IT crowd poured onto the streets, starting from 10 am, demanding that the government look into the various civic and traffic issues troubling the residents of Whitefield and other areas of East Bengaluru.

People from various walks of life, schoolchildren, working professionals, residents and the elderly took part in the protest leaving behind their daily chores.

Dressed in black, the protesters gathered at seven assembly points of Marathahalli, Forum, Hoodi, Nellurahalli, KTPO and Graphite before heading to the rendezvous - ITPL - in front of Park Square Mall.

The pathetic condition of the roads, the absence of pedestrian facilities, traffic violations and pollution were among the issues they wanted the government to address immediately.

They have not just listed their demands but also set deadlines for the authorities to fix them. The list includes: levelling and asphalting of 30 roads in the area by March 1; fixing footpaths and barricading them by January 1; and deployment of traffic cops three times their present number by January 1.

R K Misra, a Whitefield resident, who is also the technical advisor to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and the Bangalore Development Authority, told Deccan Herald that they would wait till December 31 and if no visible changes took place in the locality, then they would intensify their protest.

“We will not pay the property tax from January next year in case the government does not act. We will also storm the Global Investors’ Meet scheduled to be held in the City in February 2016 and stage a protest there,” he added. Misra said though Rs 600 crore had been sanctioned by the government for the development of Whitefield this year, none of the works had commenced.

Utkarsh Singh, founder and managing director, Hyphen Strategic Design, said all companies in and around Whitefield put together suffered losses running into crores of rupees each year due to traffic-related issues.

“Nearly eight lakh vehicles pass through the area on any given day. We want the roads and footpaths to be maintained well. We also want the garbage cleared daily,” said Singh who initiated the #SaveWhitefield movement.