Monday, December 07, 2009

Plagued by lack of civic amenities

Plagued by lack of civic amenities

From traffic chaos to land mafia and from water supply problems to sanitary woes, Rajarajeshwari Nagar has been plagued by lack of civic amenities.

This constituency comprising of nine BBMP wards was identified with dust, dirt, garbage, open drains and lack of street lights. While Bangalore grew by leaps and bounds, the fruits of City’s growth could not reach many areas of the R R Nagar constituency.

It has a sizable revenue pocket when compared to any other part of Bangalore. Five of the nine wards namely Jalahalli, Yeshawantapur, Lakshmidevi Nagar, Laggere and Kottegepalya were in a pathetic state a couple of years back.

The residents of the area say that there were no efforts to develop these areas. For decades many of these revenue pockets had open drains running through the mud roads.

“Until five years ago people hesitated coming to our locality. The entire area used to stink, being flooded with dirty water. In the last one-and-half years, road laying work is done. We have come to know that soon under ground drainage (UGD) and storm water drains would be constructed,” said M Siddaiah, a resident of Kempegowda Nagar, a revenue pocket.

Water Shortage

Water shortage is the most haunting of problems faced by the five ailing wards in the constituency.

“There is acute drinking water shortage. We have been appealing to the engineers from the civic agencies to provide us the relief, but to no vain,” said Siddegowda, owner of a marriage hall in the area. Locals suggest that the most common excuse given by the authorities is: “The pipelines are over 100 years old. we will provide you with water when they are replaced as soon as possible.” While the pipeline replacement drive has begun, water is yet to flow through the taps. People in Laggere ward have been depending upon tankers at Rs 400 per trip and the few borewells for drinking water.

There also exists the problem of traffic chaos and congestion. “With the growth of the City, the traffic volume has also increased. The only approach roads that exist, Mysore Road, has been in a neglected state,” said Parthasarthy, resident of R R Nagar. The potholes and craters that exist on the road have disrupted the smooth flow of traffic in and out of R R Nagar.

Even as the city receives more funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme for public transport, there has been a minimal change in the connectivity to this area. “The bus frequency towards the evening is extremely negligible. Between 6.15 pm and 8 pm there seems to be only one bus that ply in R R Nagar,” rues Parthsarthy.

Law and order?

The land mafia is active in this area. In Laggere, IOB colony, locals state that the same site has been distributed to nearly four or five people. “While the land will be in somebody’s name, the registered GPA will be given to someone else,” said Venkatraju, a bank employee.

Residents in the area seem to have no respite as crime rates have been on the rise across the constituency. “Last Sunday a chain snatching incident took place in the neighbourhood. It is extremely dangerous for women and elderly to walk on the streets after dark,” said Venkatraju.

Lack of direction

As the water and sanitary pipe replacement programme intensifies, the cutting and digging up of roads have increased many fold.

However, people suggest that the works have only caused more trouble for the people.
“They first dig up the road remove the old pipes and then close it for the time being without any replacements. Authorities have been suggesting that the work will commence once there is water supply available. they will once again dig the same road to relay the sanitary pipes,” laments Venkatraju.

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