Voices of discontent

Spotlight on roads

Voices of discontent

Protests have always been a way to draw the attention of the powers that be to pressing civic issues. The civic inefficiency that has delayed the work on Hennur Flyover had recently sparked off a spontaneous protest by citizens.

With 300 people living in the vicinity coming together to express their outrage over the problems that they face because of the delayed work of the flyover, Metrolife went around the city to find out whether such protests can help bring in a change. While some people felt that public protests do well to speed up pending infrastructure work, others feel public outrages are only a momentary reaction and are not taken seriously by the officials.

Nadia Zackaria, a resident of Hennur and one of the organisers of the recent protest, feels that people must make a noise to get pending infrastructure work done.

“The authorities need a constant push from people, otherwise nothing gets done. The situation in and around Hennur gets worse when it rains because the construction debris dumped on the road gets mixed with rainwater and two-wheeler riders slip and lose balance. Four-wheelers also get stuck,” explains Nadia.

She adds that the dust kicked up on the road has aggravated the health issues of people living in this locality. The organisers also plan to start a signature campaign to speed up the work. Saloni Shah, a banker, who has been a part of several such public campaigns, says “I was a part of a campaign where we painted a few walls in the city where garbage was being dumped. After we painted it, people stopped throwing garbage there and defacing the wall. These kind of movements are necessary to keep the public spirit alive.”

 But there are those who feel that government authorities don’t pay much attention to public outrage and protests. They also wonder if people who come for these protests actually know what they are fighting for or are participating just to add to the numbers.

 Riya Singhvi, a student, says, “Protestors don’t really care about the development of the city. They are just there to add to the numbers and some people don’t even know what issues they are raising.”

Riya Luniya, another student, couldn’t agree more.

“The liquor ban around the CBD area was first imposed and then lifted, owing to pressure from a few people. What is the point if the government cannot stand by a decision that will benefit a large section of society?” wonders Riya.

She adds that public protests must not be a one-off experiment but should be followed up with a series of campaigns till the issue that is being raised is addressed and solved.


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