Monday, January 11, 2010

SUBURBS STILL IN FILTH GRIP

SUBURBS STILL IN FILTH GRIP
Bommanahalli zone highlights a contrast: rural parts coming to terms with sudden urban development
Jayashree Nandi | TNN

Bangalore: Bommanahalli zone is a mix of two worlds — posh neighbourhoods like HSR Layout and high-rise apartments on Bannerghatta main road to the almost forgotten suburban Chikka Begur and Bilekahalli. The extreme contrast in the way these parts have developed can shock.
The backyard of IIM-B, one of the most prestigious educational institutes, Bilekahalli is gripped in the stench of clogged open drains, while the neighbourhood of IT giants like Infosys and Wipro have no water supply for the common people.
BILEKAHALLI: THE DRAIN NIGHTMARE
The sight of a huge, incomplete storm water drain beckons you at Bilekahalli, just next to a petrol bunk. Utility lines lie exposed and people have littered the void with plastic and other waste. A few metres ahead is another crater of an exposed drain with an unbearable stench, and a number of old, broken road dividers piled up next to it. This is not just a breeding ground for the most venomous mosquitoes and insects, it is also a dangerous spot for vehicles as many get stuck while taking a turn.
“The stench is a problem, no doubt, but what’s more risky is that big vehicles like lorries get stuck here. Imagine if someone falls into this. The authorities don’t seem to be bothered,” says Kishan S R, an employee at a showroom right next to the open drain.
MORE DRAINS AND DELICATE BRIDGES
The drain that moves further ahead on the left of Bannerghatta main road (Bilekahalli) has sudden openings where any pedestrian can fall in. After many people fell in and were pulled out of the stinking sewage water, residents put up makeshift bridges with small slabs of stones. It needs more than a good balancing act to walk on those and not fall down.
“Many still fall in the drains. We have complained eight or nine times but the work is left incomplete. It’s been like this for two-and-half years,” says Rakesh Kumar, a student of the area. To add to their woes, there are open power transmission boxes right on the main road, and heaps of garbage. The untreated sewage water goes into Tavarekere, again making people vulnerable to infectious diseases.
FLOODING COMMON
In 2005, these parts of Bommanahalli were devastated by rains. The storm water drains had flooded and overflowed into houses. Nothing much has changed since then. People from Arakere, Bilekahalli and neighbouring parts still complain of drains that could be fatal. “There are just too many mosquitoes in the evenings due to the clogged water. The other sanitary problem is garbage dumps. Collection is irregular,” complains Rajamma, who lives in the interior parts of Arakere.
However, Arakere is doing a little better than Bilekahalli in terms of roads and drainage. Gottigere, however, still holds some rural charm, and since it is close to Bannerghatta National Park, it is a regular haunt for wild elephants. Water supply is a problem here, claim farmers. This part of Bommanahalli zone is not very commercially developed.
ENCROACHMENTS BLOCK PEDESTRIAN PATH
There is almost no path for pedestrians in these parts. Hoardings and boards jam the roads, which are anyway very narrow. “There are three main problems here: there is no space to walk at all, and for senior citizens like me, it is next to impossible without the fear of being run over; there is a park but it is under maintenance work for the past six months and the roads are two narrow,” complains MPS Nair, who lives in Vijaya Enclave in Devaruchikanahalli. Strangely, there are a number of posh apartments here who face the same problems.
DEADLY DRAIN STILL OPEN
From Devaruchikanahalli, the road leads up to BTM 4th Stage, where huge private houses, most of them posh and exquisitely designed, stand tall. There are many vacant sites in between, which serve as free urinals and garbage dumps for people here. It is quite a sight to see mansions standing next to vacant sites full of garbage. Since these sites are ownerless, no one coordinates to see that solid waste is collected from here.
The huge open storm water drain that had consumed an 18-month-old Vijay, still lies open, emanating a foul smell, and eagles hover around, scavenging on dead animals and rats. “The drain made news but it still lies open. We fear it could lead to more accidents, not to mention the foul odour that makes people feel sick. The vacant sites are another problem. People just dump the garbage because there is so much space,” says K Ishwaran, vice-president of Muneshwara Layout RWA.
The other matter of concern here is security. Between 7 and 9 pm, there is need for more security as it becomes difficult for women to go out or just take a walk in the deserted parts. There are a lot of anti-social elements that spread fear and also tease women in the evenings.
STRAY DOGS AND COWS
While places like Hongasandra and parts of Begur are still undergoing the birth pangs of coming under the urban category, packs of five to six stray dogs barking ferociously are a common sight. No wonder, for them the solid waste in these parts is a treat, especially as leftovers line both sides of the main road. This is the main reason for the increase in stray dogs.
“We are scared to leave our children out to play. You never know which one has rabies. The dogs are very dangerous here,” exclaims a resident of the area. However, last week, BBMP introduced a 16-package garbage clearance system in Bommanahalli zone, where garbage will be collected every day from houses and main roads will be swept twice a day, so there is some hope as far as garbage is concerned.
There is also a rare sight of a lush green farm, but the cows from there also feed on plastic on the main road. They block traffic on the narrow roads where trucks and lorries ply.
“This used to be a hobli (village). It will take a while to develop but what BBMP can do immediately is help us clear the garbage as it is a threat to our children’s health,” adds another resident.
BOMMANAHALLI ZONE WARDS LIST
197 Vasanthpura — Part I: Existing RR Nagar CMC ward 29 containing following localities: Sarvabhouma Nagar, KSRTC Layout, Gaundanapalya (P), Canara Bank Colony, Chikallasandra (P), Part II: Maruthi Housing Society Layout, Devarakere Extension, Vittal Nagar, Vasanthpura, Prashanthi Nagar, Sharada Nagar, VV Nagar, Gokul Nagar, Vallabha Nagar, Kuvempu Nagar, Kailash Nagar, Naidu Layout, Siddanna Layout, Ganapathipura, Munireddy Layout, Doddakallasandra, Ayyappa Nagar, HBCS 2nd Block, BDA Employees Layout (boundary described for Part II only)
195 Konankunte — Okshakthi Layout, Puttenahalli, Raghavendra Nagar, Eshwara Layout, RBI Colony, Nataraj Layout, Santhrupti Layout, Muniswamy Layout, Sun City Layout, South City Layout, Raghavendra Layout, Sai Enclave, Aradhana Layout, MS Ramaiah City, Kottanur Village, Krishna Nagar, Maruthi Nagar, Shreyas Colony, Navodhaya Nagar, Poornima Nagar, Nrupathunga Layout, Sankranti Layout, Gourava Nagar, JP Nagar 7th Phase, Annapoorneshwari Nagar, Srinidhi Layout, Mysore Bank Colony, New Bank Colony, Chunchugatta, Patel Narayanswamy Layout, Mahendra Singh
Layout, Konankunte 196 Anjanapura — Soudhamini Layout, Muneshwar Nagar, Avalahalli Colony, Vishaweshavaraiah Industrial Layout, Bank Officers’ Layout, BDA Layout, RB Raj Nagar, JP Nagar 9th Phase, Anjanapura, Anjanapura Blocks II, III, IV, V, V G, VI, VII, VIII, X, XI, Jeethendra Nagar, Kidwai Layout, Classic Layout, BDA Layout, Lakshmi Dorai Layout, Meenakshi Residency Layout, Galaxy Layout, South Avenue Residency Layout
194 Gottigere — Aditya Nagar, JP Nagar 8th Phase, Brookes Heaven Layout, Lakshman Layout, Royal Country Layout, JP Nagar 8th Phase 2nd Block, Surbhi Nagar, SATG’s Layout, Nayak Layout, Pavamana Nagar, Rajadhadri Layout, Kothanur Dinne, Venkateshwara Layout, Bhagya Nagar, IDBI Layout, Meenakshi Layout, Raghavendra Swamy Layout, Bora Layout, Gundappa Layout, Vidya Sagar Layout, Royal Heritage Layout, Weavers’ Colony, Gottigere
193 Arakere — Omkar Nagar, Syndicate Bank Colony, Srinivasalu Layout, Vijayashree Layout, Mutturayaswamy Layout, Janatha Colony, Madhavan Colony, Hulimavu, Muneshwara Colony, Pai Layout, Shanthinikethan Housing Colony, Arakere Layout, BTS Layout, Hanuman Nagar, Arakere, Indira Priyadarshini Colony, Samrat Layout, Vijaya Layout, Jayamaruthi Layout, Sarvabhouma Nagar, Indira Gandhi Housing Colony, Vysya Bank Layout, Pavani Shrungeri Nagar, Shirdi Sai Nagar, Nyanappanhalli
TOMORROW:
Water, health and sanitation, social life and security

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