Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The UNHOLY trinity

The UNHOLY trinity
Irregular water supply, bad roads and choked drains bother Bangaloreans
S Kushala | TNN

Bangalore: As polling date draws closer and with campaigning ending on Thursday, the common man is left wondering what this election holds for Bangalore, his constituency, ward and area.
Irrespective of which party comes to power or which candidate becomes an MLA in Bangalore, three basic issues don’t seem to have been solved over the years. The Times of India which collected the grievances of residents and posed it to wannabe-MLAs in the series ‘Know Your Candidates’ found that three common problems plagued all 28 assembly constituencies across Bangalore — irregular water supply, bad roads and choked drains. This apart, traffic chaos, flooding during rains, water contamination, garbage pile-up were the other major problems.
“We have paid up for Cauvery water connections, but till now, there is not a drop of water. Just because others in the locality have not paid the user charges, why should the prompt
payers suffer without water? The BWSSB should either refund the money or do a bulk collection,’’ complained the residents of newly added areas of Bangalore South constituency.
Water supply seemed to be a grey area despite the BWSSB making tall claims about “efficient water distribution system’’. Over-exploitation of ground water has led to borewells drying up and in some areas, residents have complained of water contamination. This has happened due to sewage and water line mixups.
Even in so-called well-developed areas such as Jayanagar, Basavanagudi, Rajajinagar, Vijayanagar, Koramangala, Indiranagar, water supply is irregular — there is no water pressure for areas at a slightly higher altitude.
“Areas in Srinagar are at a higher altitude and the water pressure is bad. So, the localities do not get water regularly. The MLAs elected from Basavanagudi hardly do anything in interior areas but only concentrate on localities that get them media attention,’’ pointed out a Resident Welfare Association in Basavanagudi.
Bad roads, unasphalted roads and roads full of craters are other problems. Though the BBMP takes up asphalting of inner roads, residents complain that work is also done on good roads and the deplorable stretches are always ignored. “We don’t understand why asphalting is also carried out on roads that are in good shape. All the muddy, uneven roads are ignored which have not seem bitumen coat for a long time,’’ voiced the members of a resident association in Padmanabhanagar.
When it rains, there’s flooding as the city’s drainage network is choked. Clogged drains is another issue which needs immediate attention. “Year after year, storm water drains get choked and overflow when it rains. Only when deaths occur due to flooding do the authorities and elected representatives make a beeline to the area, offer lip sympathy and give some compensation. The next day, everything is forgotten. And it’s the same saga during the next rains,’’ said residents of Kamakhya Layout near Katriguppe.
OTHER PROBLEMS
Stray dog and cattle menace Garbage pile-up Lake breach during rains Slums and encroachment Drying up of water table and non-functioning borewells
STANDARD REPLIES GIVEN BY
CANDIDATES
My first priority will be.... In my tenure as MLA, I changed the area... Will put a comprehensive traffic plan in place... Change the drainage network system.... Get the water pipes changed and augment it... Will get special funds from the Union government for constructing grade separators. As an MLA, I have done everything that my area demanded. There are minor issues that have to be sorted out.
TOI POLL HELP DESK
EC WEBSITE: www.ceokarnataka.kar.nic.in has information on electoral rolls of the delimited assembly constituencies. Voters in constituencies falling under the BBMP and Bangalore Urban district can look for their names, part numbers and also obtain contact details of election registration officers and observers. CALL THE HOTLINES: Dial EC helpline 155212 for help. Voters in Bangalore Urban district can call up 1552121 and those in the rural district need to dial 1552122. The service is available between 8 am and 8 pm. Callers from the districts need to affix the STD code for Bangalore or add the prefix 95. MORE HELP: Bangalore Urban administration too set up two helplines to answer queries - 42047128 and 42017240. POLICE LAUNCH WEBSITE TOO: Karnataka police have launched an exclusive website for the assembly elections — www.kspelections.com. The website provides information on security arrangements and other enforcement issues, and lists information like how to lodge complaints for violation of code of conduct during the elections.
DASARAHALLI CONSTITUENCY
CORRECTION: These are the correct photographs of the candidates in Dasarahalli and not as rendered in Tuesday edition

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