George's subtle political campaign; citizens greet with complaints

George's subtle political campaign; citizens greet with complaints

George's subtle political campaign; citizens greet with complaints

The Bengaluru Development and Town Planning Minister K J George set out on a subtle political campaign under the guise of an inspection of the rain-affected areas in the Bommanahalli zone of the city on Thursday.

He was accompanied by senior BBMP officers, BWSSB and BESCOM officials.  The  cavalcade of officials caused a serpentine jam on the narrow roads.

George was greeted with firecrackers and flower bouquets at almost every stop in the Congress ward. The first stop was at the New MICO Layout where the residents complained the lack of pucca roads due to political interference. "Half of this layout belongs to Bommanahalli zone and the other half belongs to Bangalore South zone. This has created problems with the laying a pucca road for almost twenty years now. Lack of drains cause havoc during rains," said M Krishnappa, who has been residing in the area for the past seven years. George has ordered for stormwater drain's construction in this area at a cost of Rs 14 crore.

In Pillaganahalli, the issue of the illegal construction of houses on the government land was in focus. The occupants of these houses have been denied occupancy certificates even after residing there for over a decade. "We will not ask the people to evacuate the place but we will ensure that they will get an OC," said George. "There are 3,070 families living in this area and some of them have the certificates since they had applied during the time of SM Krishna's regime. We will be issuing the certificates by January," said Congress MP DK Suresh.

He received a lot of flak from the residents of Anjanapura. "There are eleven blocks in this layout with no basic infrastructure like drains or even drinking water," said Nikhil R, a resident. Even the government school in Kembattahalli does not have a water supply, he said.

On asked if the visit was a political campaign camouflaged as an inspection, George said,"Anybody from any party can come to my inspection. I have just come to inspect Bengaluru Rural parts. We need to develop lakes in these areas and we will give more importance for this during the next budget."

He was accompanied by Mayor R Sampath Raj, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad, DK Suresh and other senior officials.