Monday, January 30, 2006

Cratered bridge over filthy water

Cratered bridge over filthy water
The Times of India

Bangalore: Of late, Arafat Nagar, near Mysore Road, is reeling under various problems: filth, mud roads, poor medical facilities and a dangerous bridge. The bridge is situated between Shamanna Garden and West Padarayanapura above a sewage stream. Residents say the bridge is over 18 years’ old and has been “doing more harm than good”.

The extremely narrow bridge is being used by many motorists and pedestrians, for the bridge gives a short-cut access to Jagajivanaram Nagar and Vijayanagar. A resident, Dheeraj (name changed), says: “A woman sustained severe injuries when her leg was stuck in a crater on the bridge. Passers-by helped her out. On another occasion, a scooterist fell into the sewage while crossing the bridge. Hundreds of schoolchildren use it regularly. The civic authorities are well aware of this unsafe bridge but do nothing to repair or broaden it. The residents have fixed a metal plate on the crater now.’’

According to M D Sanaulla, president (Minority Cell), JD(S) in Binnypet and Bharath Youth Welfare Association, “As many as 27 bhoomi poojas have been conducted by officials belonging to several governments (since ‘90s) to repair the bridge. The work is still pending. Five houses were also demolished for the construction of a new bridge in July 2002. Neither the bridge has been constructed nor have the house owners been given any compensation.’’ As if to complicate the matters, BMP workers dump garbage near the bridge every day. “Mosquitoes breed here posing health risks to the locals. The pest-control staff don’t spray disinfectants regularly. People have themselves taken up this task. Ward inspections are hardly conducted here,’’ he says.

MLA V Somanna says: “The work on new bridge has been delayed due to a wrong design by the engineers. Also, Rs 2 crore has been sanctioned for the West Padarayanapura Ward to lay cement roads. Both the works will begin shortly.’’ There is also a dearth of medical facilities here. Residents feel neglected by the government. “We need government clinics. There is only one government hospital in Jagajivanram Nagar for a population of almost Rs 2 lakhs. It’s a maternity hospital but people have to visit it for any ailment for which they will be charged too,’’ says Amjan, another resident. But Somanna allays their fears saying: “The hospital is equipped with excellent medical facilities. The residents need not worry.”

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