Sunday, April 25, 2010

Encroachments, a bane in Srinagar

Encroachments, a bane in Srinagar
Nandini Chandrashekar, Bangalore, April 24, DHNS:

Ask the residents of Srinagar ward about the problems they face, they will take some time to respond.

Not that problems do not exist in this ward, but the Residential Welfare Associations (RWAs) are so active in certain areas that if there is a major problem, it is more likely that the civic agencies think twice before they delay a response.

Srinagar ward covers Harishta Nagar, Kalidasa Nagar, Pipeline Weaver’s Colony, Banashankari 1st Stage, Muneshwara block, Kallappa block, Srinagar, Dasarahalli (P), Dasarahalli south block, Nagendra Block and SBM Colony. One of the main issues plaguing the areas is blatant encroachment on foot paths, not only on the main roads, but the side roads as well.

The busy 50-feet road from Hanumanthanagar to Muneshwara block is fast turning into a nightmare for residents. The heavy flow of traffic on this main road, coupled with encroachments on either kerb, make it virtually impossible to walk.

K P Ramachandra, Joint Secretary of Banashankari 1st Stage Residents Welfare Association says that owners of commercial buildings show the basements to be a parking area for licensing. But in reality, the basements are let out to shops and establishments. As a result, vehicles are parked on either side of the road or even on foot paths.

“If we have to walk on the footpath, then there are footpath vendors and display boards. If we have to step on the roads, then there are vehicles parked everywhere. Where are we supposed to walk?” he asks.

Storm water drains are encroached upon with impunity. Many a time the encroachments are religious places that authorities are reluctant to demolish. Many residents let the sewage from toilets into the storm water drains, fouling up the atmosphere.

The 80-feet road in Banashankari 1st stage is another story. Crossing the roads is a tough task, with vehicles showing no signs of slowing down at any stretch of this road.

G S Gururaja Rao, a resident says that traffic lights are sorely required at the Bank Colony Bus stop, to allow better flow of traffic and allow pedestrians some place to cross the road. It’s the same story about pavements with vegetable vendors and chaat vendors occupying the footpath entirely.

K P Ramachandra: BBMP turns a blind eye to encroachments and parking violations. There is no coordination between the civic agencies. I expect the corporator to take the RWAs into confidence and solve the problems, along with other agencies involved.

Sundaramma: Open drains are a major problem in this area. A few years ago, my two-year-old niece fell into an open drain but thankfully she was rescued.
Despite repeated complaints, they have not bothered to cover the drains.

G S Gururaja Rao: When we complained to BBMP about stray dogs, they promptly rounded them up but released them later. Authorities concerned have not even bothered to acquaint themselves with the residents. How can we expect them to solve these problems?

T Thimme Gowda
(JDS candidate)
Education: Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.
Family: Wife Nagarathna,
son Dileep and daughter Deepika.

What are the priority projects in this ward?

My primary concern is to complete all the drainage projects before the start of monsoon. All the silt and drainage blocks are being removed. We have also regularised water supply in Nagendra Block as the residents have been complaining about it. My other priority is to complete the const- ruction of the Samudaya Bhavan at Kalidasa Layout.

What about encroachments?

I have already begun to speak to shopkeepers about some of the sheds installed on the footpath. We have told them that only temporary sheds are allowed and not permanent structures. Some of the encroachments in residential areas have also been demolished. In the next 10 days, we will complete all the demolishing, especially those on storm water drains.

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