Friday, April 16, 2010

Stree shakti set to bring in changes

Stree shakti set to bring in changes

Girinagar has high hopes as civic leader charts out a growth plan

S Senthalir



It is good news for Bangaloreans. Girinagar, the spiritual ward of the city, wants the top slot for itself in the model ward clamour. Aramane Nagar has also resolved to become the best locality and this raises the competition level.
Surrounded by lush greenery, Girinagar stands out as a coveted ward in the Basavanagudi assembly constituency. It has seen 'stree shakti' and is reserved for women. The first-time corporator HS Lalitha wants to make it a model ward.
Green though, the ward faces acute water shortage. As Lalitha embarks on a ward yatra with DNA, residents invariably bring up this issue. True, a visitor will feel like having come to a village life when women get up early and go to fetch day's water from the pond or well. We found girls, boys and women carrying plastic water cans or buckets to the nearest taps.
Irregular water supply and erratic power cuts have become so regular that residents have ceased to speculate which is worse. "Roads are good, we have no quarrel," says S Anitha, a homemaker, "but water problem is scary," she says looking at the new civic leader for answers.
Anitha tells her how many times they had to keep themselves awake to catch those precious drops at the dead of night. Lalitha says she knows the problem and wants her to wait patiently till she takes charge officially.
Ever since her poll victory, Lalitha is busy meeting people after her morning yoga and walk. Residents say her presence gives them comfort and assurance that things will move smoothly. "We live on the second floor, Ma'am," says Parvathamma Narasappa at Girinagar 2nd phase. She gasps for breath while struggling up with a pot of water. "We've to carry water from below as the pressure is too weak up there."
Populated with 34,912 people, the ward comprises Girinagar 1st and 2nd phases, Writers' Colony, Dasarahalli (P), Nagendra Block, Srinivasanagar (P), Banasankari 3rd Stage 3rd and 5th blocks and Hosakerehalli Layout.
Girinagar is divided into four phases with the 2nd phase being the largest. It houses two big parks – Vivekananda park and a BDA park in Avalahalli Layout.
Issues of sanitary pipes in advanced stage of decay and some ill-maintained interior roads come up during the interaction. "Please attend to these problems," pleads Lakshmi Shakalya, a resident.
Unauthorised speed breakers, which the road contractors of Bangalore seem to be 'specialised' in, come in for criticism next. "Irregular maintenance of some roads has created problems and ill-lit streets too are irritants," says Narasappa Chakravarthi, member of a residents' welfare committee.
However, the residents agree that they are better off on many counts. Moreover, they now have a corporator to take care of minor problems. The ward is well on its way to becoming a model for others, they say.
Girinagar had a rich green crown. But 'development' has stolen much of it ."It does not look like a major problem but this loss of greenery is affecting our daily lives. It is not practically possible to plant trees everywhere but we can identify those places which are suitable for the purpose and start planting more trees," says Suchith R, a resident.
The young Girinagar wants a sport club, and the corporator being a sportsperson herself, the request is in perfect order, they say.
"We will cooperate with the corporator to make it the top ward in Bangalore," says Giridharshetty, a resident.

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