Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Taps are an eyewash

Taps are an eyewash
Dirty water, irregular and unreliable supply... Residents here have to suffer all this and more
Deepa Bhasthi | TNN

Bangalore: As with the condition of roads and waste management, the contrast within Bangalore West is apparent even when it comes to public hygiene. At one end, there are residents who have just a few minor grouses. In other parts, there is an unending list of woes.
While there is regular supply of clean water in parts of the zone, residents of some other localities have to deal with dry taps, besides open drains and overflowing dustbins.
In Gangenahalli, a large complex is built right above a drain. A narrow lane here was dug up a few years ago, cutting off traffic and creating heartburn for traders.
Just off the road that leads to HMT Layout, there is a huge open drain. A maternity hospital is close by. Shoppers at an adjacent supermarket complain of inconvenience. The area used to once be regularly flooded every monsoon. Thankfully, that’s not the case anymore.
In Cholanayakanahalli, a drain overflows regularly and floods a school ground next to it.
Residents in Nagenahalli say a drain is unnecessarily being opened up on the pretext of repair work. Nagesh Kumar, a shop owner, points out the ongoing work, where labourers are merely placing thin cement bricks on existing concrete walls of the drain. “There was no need for it at all. Yes, it does heighten the drain a little, but the shoddy work will not hold during monsoon. They have dug up the entire road for this,” he says.
NOT A DROP TO DRINK
In many parts of the zone, public taps have no water supply. Along inner roads of some localities, residents have taken private connections from these taps. Public water tanks, plastered with film posters, are out of use.
WEEKLY SUPPLY AT 3 AM!
As residents of L G Ramanna Layout in Laggere are listing out their woes, an old man walks by in a drunken stupor. N C Krishna, a garment factory worker and resident of the area, says this is the man in charge of releasing water to their houses. “He takes money even to release water once a week. We all pool in and pay, and he releases water at 3 am on Tuesdays! We are forced to wake up and fill buckets. For the rest of the week, we get water in pots from a long distance away, paying Re 1 per pot,” Krishna says. The area has no drains or tarred roads.
GREYISH WATER TO DRINK, WASH, COOK
Ganesh Gudi slum near Binnypet and Chickpet has an arch welcoming visitors. Under this are several girls washing clothes and utensils. The slum has been around for 60 years. Water supply is regular, but muddy and greyish. This is all they have to wash, cook and drink. A nearby public toilet, several stray animals and a garbage dump make for the perfect recipe for a sanitation disaster here.
HOSPITALS CLOSED, TOO MANY DOGS
Suresh Kumar, a resident of Hebbal, is a factory employee who often returns home late at night. “I recently moved to Hebbal and everything else is fine. But from midnight to around 7 am, it is very difficult to walk in the area because of the number of stray dogs,” he says. Zahir, a boy playing at a park in Ganganagar, says garbage strewn around the area attracts dogs.
Several hospitals have many patients waiting outside with few or no doctors to attend to them. Residents in Hebbal say some health centres often remain shut all through the day.
FEAR OF TUBERCULOSIS
Roopa, a resident of Laggere, has been suffering from tuberculosis for many months. She used to work in a garment factory, but has now become so weak that she can only crawl. Roopa gulps down seven tablets a day. Neighbours feel unhygienic conditions around the place caused the ailment.
GOOD THINGS ELSEWHERE
Residents of Vijayanagar, Rajajinagar, Subramanyanagar and Malleswaram say garbage collection is good and they get 24-hour water supply on alternative days. Shankarnarayan S, a resident of RPC Layout in Vijayanagar, is content with civic issues and prompt redressal of complaints by local authorities.
No banners, hoardings around Vidhana Soudha
Except for government events, no hoardings, banners or publicity material are allowed within a 1-km radius of Vidhana Soudha. This rule came into effect on Tuesday, urban development minister S Suresh Kumar said after a meeting.
The ban includes greetings and other publicity material that does not involve the government, he said. Even material for government-related events will be allowed only on the day of the event.
The BBMP joint commissioner (advertisements & markets) will be responsible for any violation of this rule. The minister has written to political parties and associations seeking support in following the rule.
However, Kumar admitted that a complete ban on hoardings and banners across the city is impossible, but that efforts are on to regulate and restrict them to locations identified by the BBMP.

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