Friday, January 15, 2010

Water woes, uncleared garbage

Water woes, uncleared garbage
Rashmi Menon

Yelahanka, which is speckled with parks and wide roads, seems like an ideal township.


However, limited water supply, lack of public toilets and irregular garbage collection are major issues that belie its idyllic exteriors. With the BBMP elections scheduled to take place next month, Deccan Herald does a survey of Kempegowda Nagar, one of the biggest wards in Yelahanka constituency, to find out not only about the civic issues faced by residents but also what they expect from candidates who are contesting the election.

K B Naidu from Yelahanka New Town explained that rampant dumping of garbage in vacant land was a constant problem and an eyesore for the area. In addition to this, the waste from residents’ gardens piles up for days before it is cleared. “People dump the waste in vacant sites because collection of garbage is irregular. Another problem is water supply. The BBMP officials assured us that there was enough water, however, proper and systematic distribution was the problem. As a result, houses at a higher elevation don’t get water on time,” he pointed out. Therefore according to Naidu any corporator, once elected, will first need adequate funds and then will have to spend it with honesty and purpose.

Agreeing with him N Krishnan Pillai, a resident of A Sector, Yelahanka New Town said there were virtually no public toilets in the area. “This is really a nuisance and causes a lot of trouble for us,” he said. Interestingly, two new public toilets were constructed in the parks around the Yelahanka RTO but were yet to be commissioned, revealed Naidu.

Citizen Forum Yelahanka New Town, which acts as an apex body in Sector A, B, 4th and 5th stage have raised these issues time and again with the authorities but their efforts have resulted in very little reward. Ekambaresha B R, the Forum’s president said, “We have asked the BWSSB officials to provide us with the schedule of the release of the valves for water distribution but they have not provided us with it till now. The fact remains that they are not able to control the linemen,” he lamented. He added that the roads were not cleaned at all and power cuts happened randomly without any schedule.

Apart from this, the three schools - Cambridge school, Agragami school and MEC school - in the vicinity of the BWSSB sewage treatment plants have to bear with the foul smell coming out of the treatment plant every day.

“The total strength of each school is close to 2000 children. The students are asked to cover their nose. In fact, we have been complaining about this issue for the last three years but nothing has come of it. Recently, we asked Cambridge school to keep a record of the days when the smell was intense for a month. And, almost all the days they smelt the foul odour. We have told this to the MLA who has assured us to do something,” he said.

He also highlighted the raise in the number of street dogs in the area in the last four months. Therefore, he felt that apart from the will to work for the improvement of the area, the Corporator needed to be accessible to the residents.

Voices

M P Gopidas, resident of Surabhi Layout, Yelahanka old town:
While water shortage is a persistent problem in our area, we don’t have any proper bus stand. So, we urgently need a bus stand for buses starting from Yelahanka old town. Also, we are yet to get Cauvery water connected to our area.

K Arkesh, DIGP, Group centre, CRPF:

The corporation has responded to our requirements and has done a lot of work. However, the only unfulfilled request has been the issue of water supply. The population in the campus is growing day by day. Hence, there is acute shortage of water.

Other wards:
Kempegowda : 1
Chowdeshwari : 2
Atturu : 3


On the civic issues...
People are facing water shortage because they are not willing to take Cauvery water connection. I repeatedly requested people to take the connection but they are not ready because they will have to pay for it. Currently, they are receiving it free of cost from the borewell. Another issue is lack of proper drainage system. When the town was under CMC administration, the drains were not laid scientifically.

On solutions to address the problems...
We had proposed a tender for Rs 23 crores for lying of pipeline in Yelahanka old town, Attur Layout and Maruthi Nagar. As for the public toilets, there is not an inch of free land in old town. The issue of the two public toilets not being operational is because the water connection and the outlet pipeline have not been installed. I have had a meeting with the officials and will issue a final notice to the contractor after which he will be blacklisted. The BWSSB Sewage Treatment Plant will also be renovated in the coming months.

On BBMP election...
The BBMP election will definitely help in solving the civic issues in the area. The Corporator can look even into minor issues faced by the residents. However, if the Corporator doesn’t do his duty then it will reflect on the area’s development. Ideally, he should work along with the MLA and shouldn’t have any conflict of opinion.

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