Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Upmarket area takes road downhill

Upmarket area takes road downhill
BENGALURU


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BENGALURU Until work on the Metro Rail began, MG Road was easily one of the best looking roads in the city. Brigade Road has fortunately retained a lot of its appeal and nearby upmarket residential-cum-commercial localities like Shantinagar add to the ambience of this city's hub, classified under BBMP east zone. But a closer look beneath the veneer of sophistication of these localities reveals a sad story of uncleared garbage, overflowing storm water drains, and absence of public toilets.
The situation is a lot worse in areas not as upmarket like Kadugondanahalli, Joguplaya, Devarajeevanahalli, Sarvajnanagar and Shivajinagar, where poor drinking water and other amenities add to the plethora of problems like overflowing garbage and drains, giving a sad commentary on the quality of life in the city.

Perhaps the worst testimony the zone received was when two people including a five-year-old child were washed away in storm water drains during a heavy spell of rain last year, making a mockery of the BBMP's socalled efforts to keep the wheels of administration turning effectively. Also, several houses and shops have been deprived of water and electricity supply for over four months in some parts.

Visit Cox Town and you may be excused for thinking you are in a village as its roads are in a terrible state, having been battered during construction of the Road Over Bridge (ROB), which took several months to complete. While traffic here obviously has a hard time, the rest of the zone is no better as traffic snarls are a regular feature here, with work on the Metro Rail proving an obstacle, especially during peak hours.

If you thought that sums up the problems of the zone, you thought s garbage piles are wrong. As garbage piles are common here, stray dogs roam the streets in many neighbourhoods as do cows.

A tussle with the defence ministry for land to widen roads and build drains is reportedly another factor holding up plans for better amenities in the area.

Although old Byappanahalli sees regular flooding during the rains little can be done about it as a portion of the storm water drain runs through a nearby defence property, claims K.P. Abraham president of the Residents Welfare Association of Bangalore East.

People are angry with politicians and BBMP for not doing more to address their problems. They see their only hope in the new corporators who will be elected from the various wards in the upcoming elections to the BBMP council and feel that perhaps then they will get a better hearing allowing them to find a way out of the current mess. Varied vote bank TRADITIONALLY, EAST Bengaluru has been a stronghold of the Congress party which presently has four MLAs , N. A. Harris, K. J. George, Prasanna Kumar and Roshan Baig, from the zone. The BJP has only two, Katta Subramanya Naidu and S. Raghu.

Muslims, Christians and backward classes dominate in many pockets. While areas like Shivajinagar, Kadugondanahalli, Devarajeevanahalli and Pulikeshinagar have a large concentration of Muslims, Cox Town, Bharatinagar, Frazer Town, and Banasawadi have a big chunk of Christian voters who invariably support the Congress.

A fraction of the Tamil votes here go to parties like the AIADMK and DMK, eating into the Congress votebank.

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