Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A high point is low on life's needs

A high point is low on life's needs

Blessed with hills and nature's other bounty, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, comprising nine wards, awaits development. This south-west constituency holds promises for nature tourism. And yet, residents suffer many civic ills such as highly erratic garbage clearance, lack of transport connectivity and civil security, writes Sunitha Rao R

Rajarajeshwari Nagar could be an ideal getaway if transport facilities are improved

Sunitha Rao R



Rajarajeshwari Nagar has two faces, one looking towards urban path and the other facing the rural stretch. Civic problems and prospects are, therefore, of two kinds here: high development in certain areas and zero growth in areas close to hills.
A few years ago, places surrounding Rajarajeshwari Nagar assembly constituency were not preferred by investors as the stinking storm water drain of Vrishabhavati Valley drove them away. But the scenario has changed now with the water board taking steps to quell the stench and the IT hub, Global Village, logging in on Mysore Road.
Rajarajeshwari Nagar is yet to gear up for the youths' aspirations. There is only one mall and youngsters flood towards the far away city malls to spend their time during the weekends.
"About a year back, there were hardly any malls for youngsters to hang out. But for the past one month, the Gopalan Arcade has given us much relief. It has a film theatre too. A Coffee Day outlet has also come up. But we require many more such eating joints. It is not a great place to spend a weekend and we usually prefer to hang out on Brigade Road, MG Road, or Koramangala," says Joseph MS, who is studying in RV College situated near Rajarajeshwari Nagar.
The constituency has many educational institutions in its surroundings. Janabharathi Campus of Bangalore University, Global Academy of Technology, and RNS Institute of Technology are located here. Institutions such as RV Engineering College, PESIT and SJB Institute of Technology are also situated near this area. This invariably attracts students, many of them migrants.
Recently, chief minister BS Yeddyurappa laid the foundation stone for a Rs5.15-crore swimming pool of international standards in JP Park. He also flagged off work on a Rs5-crore project to streamline drinking water supply in Rajarajeshwari Nagar and a Rs1-crore community hall in Siddhartha Nagar.
However, as many areas in the constituency were located in the erstwhile municipal council, there are hardly any upmarket outlets there.
Rajarajeshwarinagar receives its name from the famous temple of Jnanakshi Shri Rajarajeshwari. The temple was built in the 1960s.
One of the largest constituencies in the city, Rajarajeshwari Nagar faces varied civic problems. Developmental problems in this constituency are not so different from that of others, but the lopsided development is something special to this constituency. Residents list the problems: irregular clearing of garbage, low public transport connectivity, bad roads and lack of security.
Authorities have not tapped this area's potential. There is immense scope for improvement in this part of the city, say residents. According to Mallika V, a homemaker who lives in Ideal Homes locality, Rajarajeshwari Nagar has the potential to become a revenue-earning tourism station.
"We are surrounded by beautiful landscapes such as Omkar Hills and Sridhara Gudda, which are the highest points in the city but are not given enough importance. They would be ideal getaway spots for nature lovers. Lack of transport and communication links haves forced this area to remain backward," says Mallika.
Ramanesh Madhav, a fine arts student, agrees with her. He says that if the hill locations are developed, Bangaloreans living in the commercial hubs can have a weekly escape from the madding crowd and pollution. The students have already made the hills their getaway.
Women in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Jananabharathi, Jalahalli, and HMT ward say they don't feel confident enough to go out after dark. Rajeevi N Kotian, a resident, hardly goes out at night without a male escort.
"Although the streetlights are functioning, Rajarajeshwari Nagar has no night life. Ample bushes and tree cover, welcome though, give the streets an ominous ambience after 9 pm," says she.
Girl students and homemakers air the safety concern in one voice.
Since these areas are still in the nascent stage of development, the civic amenities are not yet pronounced. While water woes remain a problem in Laggere, Jalahalli and JP Park areas, garbage is a menace in Rajarajeshwari Nagar ward, Yeshwantpur and HMT ward.
"Garbage collection is not done regularly here. Even though residents take the trouble to segregate the wet waste and dry waste, the paurakarmikas mix them and dump them in the vacant lands where stray dogs and cattle feast on them. We, in this constituency, are feeling neglected," says Gopinathan MR, a resident.
The crucial problem of Laggere and Kottigepalya is inadequate water supply.
"We still do not have proper water supply," says Mohammed Khalim, a bank official who lives in Laggere.
Traffic is the main issue with the residents of Yeshwantpur. "Although the frequency of buses has increased, reaching the central business district of Bangalore is still a painful process. Traffic jam has been an eternal reality," says Raghuram Reddy, a resident of the ward.
According to Yogesh PR, an engineering student, there is a need to reduce the traffic that flows into the inner roads of Yeshwantpur. Recreational facilities are almost nil, Yogesh points out.
"We want a playground for youth of the area. We need a children's playground and a swimming pool too," he says.

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