Neglected Yeshwantpur craves for attention

Neglected Yeshwantpur craves for attention

JANASPANDANA DH-Prajavani meet gives hope to residents of the city's outskirts

Neglected Yeshwantpur craves for attention

 The contrast between core Bengaluru and the newly added areas comprising 110 villages was stark.

While areas under core Bengaluru get all the attention and their demands are met, the outskirts, including villages under the Yeshwantpur Assembly constituency, continue to crave for basic civic amenities like water, underground drains, streetlights and law and order.

Residents of Yeshwantpur Assembly constituency rarely had an audience with government officials. But on Saturday, they got an opportunity to air their civic woes and get them addressed instantly when DH and Prajavani offered them a platform through their popular interactive programme ‘Janaspandana – Citizens for Change’.

A host of government officials and public representatives, including Yeshwantpur MLA S T Somashekar, offered solace to the aggrieved citizens who had turned up in good numbers at BEL Layout near Magadi Road.

Jyothi Nagaraj of Herohalli set the pace for the programme when she pointed out that there was no swimming pool or playgrounds in her ward.

“There is no space for children for physical activities. We need a swimming pool, an indoor and outdoor stadium. In the absence of these facilities, we have to travel as far as Vijayanagar, Malleswaram and Basaveshwaranagar,” she said.

She also pointed to the lack of slabs covering drains in her area. In his reply, assistant executive engineer (AEE) Venkatesh said a proposal had been made to the BBMP head office. Efforts will be made to include these demands in the next BBMP budget.
Water, drains and roads

Narase Gowda of BEL Layout said underground drains are choked and must be replaced. A similar complaint was made by Vinod Kumar of Lingadheeranahalli. S A Ramanna of Omkaranagar, Meenakshi from Anjananagar and Umashankar from Herohalli complained about acute water shortage in their areas. Some residents said roads had not been repaired for years.

Clubbing the issues together, MLA S T Somashekar said efforts were on to bring Cauvery water in his constituency. “A survey is under way at Doddabidarakallu and in 15-20 days, the work of laying Cauvery water pipelines will also start. I have asked the authorities to stop asphalting as roads would have to be dug up again for laying pipelines,” he said.

He said the government applied to the Japan International Cooperation Agency for loan for the project but the request was turned down.

Herohalli corporator V Rajanna said the work on underground drains had been taken up along with laying pipelines for supply of Cauvery water in the 110 villages that were added to the BBMP. The work may take three to four months.

Lakes and NGT order

Ramakrishna Bhat of Thunganagar and Umashankar of Herohalli complained that sewage had polluted Herohalli lake despite a sewage treatment plant (STP) being installed there. Umashankar said sewage from Vighneshwaranagar, Bhuvaneshwarinagar and Madeshwaranagar was flowing into the lake. He said the STP works only two hours a day.

“Those running the STP seem to be saving on electricity. Installation of the new STP is going on at a snail’s pace,” he pointed out.

In reply, Rajanna said the old STP had developed technical problems, necessitating the construction of a new STP. He said the new STP will be functional in a fortnight.

Umashankar sought to know the implications of the National Green Tribunal’s order redefining the buffer zones of lakes and stormwater drains.

“What will be the fate of houses already built within the buffer zone? Will the BDA compensate if the layouts have come up within the buffer zone?” he enquired.

Herohalli corporator Rajanna admitted that clarity was required on this issue and the government has approached the Supreme Court to clear the air.

Urva of Upakar Layout complained that streetlights in his area were not functioning due to which criminals are having a field day. He said a high mast light should be installed. Agreeing with him, Somashekar said Rs 5 crore has been granted for streetlights in his constituency along 33 km of roads comprising 250 layouts. The funds granted will not suffice. Yet, he said he would see to it that streetlights are installed in his constituency.

N Krishnakanth demanded bus facilities to City Market, Shivajinagar and Majestic. In reply, Somashekar said he had spoken to Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy but there was a shortage of buses due to which the demands have not been met. He said he would speak to him again.

Girishan and Narayana from Doddabidarakallu highlighted the inadequate garbage disposal and the damaged water filter plant in their area. They also said roads are in bad shape and there are frequent traffic jams at Anjananagar.

Julian of Ullala ward complained that the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has clubbed the two meters in his building and was giving a common bill.

“There are separate meters in my house — one for the ground floor and another for the first floor.  Earlier, I was getting separate bills. For the past two months, I am getting a common, hefty bill – almost Rs 1,000 per month. This is unfair,” said Julian.

In reply, BWSSB AEE Chandrashekhar said there was an order that separate bills for independent houses should be clubbed together.

Julian demanded the copy of the circular, which the AEE could not produce. Interrupting the BWSSB engineer, the MLA assured Julian he will get the order copy and will speak to the BWSSB chairman on Saturday itself to resolve the issue.

There were complaints about parks and playgrounds being encroached upon. The growing stray dog problem, dumping of waste on vacant sites too figured during the programme. People also complained that some land grabbers were encroaching upon vacant sites.

Crackdown on garbage dumping

The dumping of waste in secluded residential areas compelled the Yeshwantpur MLA, S T Somashekar, to act tough against the garbage mafia in the city.

At ‘Janaspandana – Citizens For Change’ programme, Somashekar said one of the residents had sent him images of garbage being dumped at Tavarekere, based on which he ensured that action was taken against the garbage contractor.

“After I acted tough against the contractor, illegal dumping of waste has reduced by almost 70%. We are installing CCTV cameras to track the garbage contractors. Get me the pictures of the waste and I will certainly initiate action,” said Somashekar. Gowdaiah, a resident of Herohalli ward, pointed out sewage and garbage were destroying the Herohalli lake. He suggested ways to get rid of the sewage and garbage.

Illegal activities in Thurahalli forest

Chaitanya of Shobha Hill View Apartment said the Thurahalli forest had become a den of illegal activities. “Anti-social elements go to the forest every day and light a fire there,” she complained, urging the authorities to check these activities.