Thursday, December 24, 2009

WATER SHORTAGE, DOGS A BANE HERE

WATER SHORTAGE, DOGS A BANE HERE
Water is getting more precious by the day here, while open drains and garbage have led to the menace of stray dogs
A T Subrahmanya & Sruthy Susan Ullas | TNN

Bangalore: The well-being of a locality is bound to affect the citizen deeply, encompassing health, availability of water, and sanitation. Even in Bangalore South, these issues, besides open drains and stray dogs, are primary areas of concern.
While water problem is not an issue in a majority of areas, in most of the outer region, it is prevalent. What the people are really wary about is the rising number of stray dogs who are ready to attack. This has shaken the residents and many are of the opinion that though the authorities and animal care organisations claim there is reduction in the number of stray dogs, it is not true. Clogged open drains also pose serious health hazards, several citizens say.
WATER ISSUES
In most of the comparatively older areas, like Jayanagar, JP Nagar and Basavanagudi, residents do not complain of water shortage, but those in newer areas bear the brunt. Ravindra Kumar from Ejipura New Extension Residents’ Welfare Association says Ejipura is one of the areas severely hampered by irregular water supply. “We get water once in two days, but the problem is that water supply is at most times for an hour or maybe one-and-half hour, making it difficult to store enough for use. Sometimes, we have only three or four buckets of water to last us several days, forcing us to buy water from tankers,’’ say residents.
Water woes are apparent in the newly-added areas bordering the city. N J Santhanam, a petty shop owner in Uttarahalli, says they get water once in two days, so people manage with the little they get. In his area, Muniswamy Naidu Layout, people bribe the gangmen if they want extra water for any event or function.
People from the older areas complain that the water supply timing has come down almost by half. “We used to get water for 6-7 hours a day. However, now it is three hours, and that too at night. But still, there is no shortage of water as such,” said H Keshawakumar, a resident welfare association member of Jayanagar 4th Block.
HEALTH HAZARDS
STRAY DOGS
Stray dogs roaming around the localities has been one of the biggest concerns in Bangalore South for long. In any given area, residents complain about stray dogs posing health hazards. JP Nagar, Koramangala, BTM Layout, especially Chandra Layout and Vijayanagar, suffer from the stray dog menace, while another area affected badly by this menace is Jayanagar 4th block, from 6th Main to 10th Main.
“There are around 100 dogs within this 2-km range. They are very active during the nights, and one needs to think twice before stepping out of the house,’’ said K Seetharama Setty of Chandra Layout. The area has seen several dogbite incidents in the past few months.
“We have often tried calling animal welfare organisations to sterilize them. But they ask us for money. Most of them don’t even care to turn up,” said Deepak Thimmaiah, a resident of the locality.
“Dogs don’t attack without provocation. Here, kids from the slum keep throwing stones at them. That is when the dogs grow bitter and attack,’’ said another animal lover from the same area.
BBMP officials say there is a sterilization programme going on round the year. “We target at least 30-40 dogs per day. The operation happens in the Jayanagar veterinary clinic, with four doctors attending to the cases. Every month, we give 800 dogs the anti-rabies injection. The number of dogs have definitely come down. We are targeting female dogs especially,” said Dr Parviz Ahmed, joint director.
But the citizens differ. “Our children are scared to go out to the playground because of the dogs. Apart from dogs living in the area, more come along with the corporation vehicle that collects garbage,’’ said S Ramasubrahmanium, a resident of BTM Layout.
MANY LAKES, BUT MESSY
Bangalore South has over 15 lakes — big and small — with several prominent ones like Kempambudhi tank, Yediyur lake, Puttenahalli lake, Uttarahalli lake, Begur lake and Gottigere lake. But except for a few, like Yediyur lake, most of them are messy and covered with moss and weeds.
Though the government, along with BBMP, has taken up the project of lake rejuvenation, progress in work seems to be slow, says residents. “I cannot recall when the lake was last cleaned. It has been ages and the area stinks even when a gentle breeze blows,’’ said Jagadish K, a resident of Puttenahalli, where the vast expanse of the lake is filled with moss and weed.
STORM WATER DRAINS
One of the biggest problem that plagues South Bangalore is open storm water drains. And when it rains, it is hell for residents of Puttenahalli, and in some areas in JP Nagar. The BBMP has now launched an encroachment drive to ensure buildings are not constructed on drains.
But the problem is now of serious health hazards posed by open drains clogged with garbage, silt and other waste. Residents in several areas complained about mosquitoes emanating from open drains nearby, and blamed BBMP for inaction. G Narayanan, a resident of BSK 2nd Stage, rues: “We have many mosquitoes in our house, despite all efforts, including fumigation. We are worried when we might contract dengue or any other disease. Though we have requested the authorities, they just nod and give promises, but nothing has been done yet.’’
Koramangala ST Bed is another area which after years, has good roads, but the stray dog and open drain problem persists. B S Anantaram of the Resident Welfare Association says most open drains invite people to dump garbage, which results in health hazards like mosquitoes and others.

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