Friday, January 08, 2010

Footpaths vanish, garbage piles up

Footpaths vanish, garbage piles up
Sandeep Moudgal

Continuing the focus on wards ahead of the crucial election to BBMP, Deccan Herald takes a look at the problems facing Malleswaram.


The Malleswaram ward will surely feel the pulse of the impending Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections. For, this cultural hub and one of the four extensions to the old city established in 1898, has a name and image that never escapes the Bangalorean’s psyche.

Dominated by residential properties, the ward still retains the charm of old Bangalore. Malleswaram has grown manifold over the last two decades and infrastructure has apparently not kept pace. The ward is now in the danger of degenerating into a hovel.

Talk of elections and citizens fume. “Our politicians come when they need the votes. Once they get elected, we have to run after them. But this time, let the local MLA come and we shall ensure that work gets done before we vote,” said Manohar, a resident of Malleswaram.

An 87-year-old former professor complained that there were no footpaths along the route to his sister’s house on 16th Cross in the ward. When he questioned the supervisor who was removing all the stone slabs, he was told: “Sir, we have to remove all the stone slabs to prepare the box drains from 18th Cross to 16th Cross. Otherwise, our bills (sanctioned money) are not prepared.”

The professor was stunned by the reply. “It is always the case with regard to the payments made to the contractors. But why can’t the authorities go phase-wise and limit the inconvenience to senior citizens.”

Across the ward, footpaths are a scarcity. “People have to now walk on roads which are a hazard to us pedestrians,’ said N K Shankar, another resident. From Malleswaram Circle to Sankey Tank, the footpaths are vanishing. Near the 8th Cross market, the footpath has been encroached by roadside vendors with virtually no space to breathe, let alone walk.

Garbage woes

As the local MLA gears up to implement the successful “Zero Garbage” policy in Malleswaram constituency, the ward in particular seems to have been forgotten. On 4th Temple Road, residents have to suffer the garbage stink with no timely clearance. “We have approached the BBMP time and time again with this problem, but to no vail. Perhaps, even citizens are to be blamed. But who cares,” rued Mohan Das, a retired scientist from the area.

Constructions galore

A look at the Temple Road and one wonders whether anyone can move at all on these bylanes. With construction activity all around, it is hard for people to manoeuvre their vehicles through the debris. Illegal constructions, some of them four-storeyed buildings, have cropped up. Half-done footpaths and illegal parking around the corner of 15th cross also raises questions whether civic authorities exist at all.

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