Monday, November 24, 2008

Pavements are for Kharge’s cars

Pavements are for Kharge’s cars

Even as he’s been crying hoarse over not being allotted an official bungalow, the cars parked carelessly on the pavement outside leader of the opposition Mallikarjun Kharge’s Sadashivnagar residence are posing a risk for pedestrians

Praveen Kumar
Posted On Monday, November 24, 2008

Antecedents and past misdemeanours do count. Ask any of the once high and mighty. As someone who is an aspiring chief minister, Congress leader Mallikarjun M Kharge cannot afford to alienate the public. Perhaps he glibly assumes that public memory being notoriously short, he can get away with it!

He has been shouting from the rooftops against the B S Yeddyurappa administration for not allotting him an official bungalow in his current capacity as leader of the opposition. Irony is, Kharge, who so revels in cliches, doesn’t seem to be
aware of the old saw that charity has to begin at home.

Kharge has deprived the residents of the upscale Sadashivanagar area of space to walk on the pavement in front of his house located at the corner of 8th Main and 17 cross intersection.

Take a walk in this VVIP area where Kharge has been living for 20 years, and you will discover that you have to be a trapeze artist to navigate the pavement in front of his house. It is always choked with vehicles.

“At any given point of time, four to six cars will be parked in front of the leader’s house on the pavement. These cars block the path of pedestrians who find it difficult to walk on the road due to dense traffic,’’ a resident of 15th cross said. “We do not have the courage to question this leader who was home minister once. Please publish the photographs of cars in front of Kharge’s house and it may make him stop encroaching on the pavement,” he added.

CHOCK-A-BLOCK WITH VEHICLES
Based on the tip-off from several residents who called up Bangalore Mirror, we visited Kharge’s house on Friday night and Saturday morning. It confirmed what the residents of Sadashivanagar had said.

We found Kharge’s official vehicle (Honda CRV KA 02 GA 0009), a police escort car, a pilot vehicle along with other private vehicles parked on the pavement. The pavement in front of his house is definitely a hazard for the pedestrian. We have the photos to prove it.

We went there on Saturday morning too and the situation was more or less the same. In fact it was worse as we found huge flex boards (congratulating Kharge’s politician-son on his birthday) occupying the entire pavement.

RESIDENTS’ LAMENT
Then we got in touch with few residents of the area and asked them to react. “It is far better now. During election time, hundreds of cars blocked this road. Nobody thinks of us. We are helpless,’’ a woman resident said.

We tried to get in touch with Kharge for his reaction but he remained unavailable. Someone from his personal staff, who refused to be identified, said “The government should be faulted for this pathetic situation. The leader of the opposition gets hundreds of visitors everyday. Had the Yeddyurappa administration allotted a house with decent parking to our leader, this road in Sadashivanagar would have been spared of this problem.’’

Reacting harshly to this view, another resident said, “Kharge as leader of the opposition should find out problems of people and take them up with the government. Instead of this, he is creating problems. Let Kharge not forget that charity should begin at home. If he has to become chief minister someday, he should be sensitive to such problems affecting mainly aged persons and women walkers.’’

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