Thursday, April 29, 2010

This area is a victim of encroachments

This area is a victim of encroachments
Nandini Chandrashekar , Bangalore, April 28, DHNS

Jayanagar with its wide roads and tree lined avenues has long been a favourite address for Bangaloreans. But even this area is fast becoming a victim of encroachments, open drains and unwieldy traffic. This ward comprises Jayanagar 8th Block, Jayanagar 5th Block, TMC Layout, J P Nagar 1st Phase and Shakambari Nagar.

It is with a sense of desperation that citizens attempt to walk on these roads. Take 9th main in Jayanagar 5th Block, one of the main arterial roads for instance. The footpaths on this road is filled with sand and debris, shelters, temples, transformers and garbage. If you manage to evade them all, then you can find vehicles parked on the pavement, leaving people no place to walk at all.

In fact, the ward has around 25 Bescom electricity transformer units strategically placed on pavements at junctions forcing people to get on the road at the busy intersections. T S Ramakrishna of Jayanagar 5th block says that despite repeated pleas to shift these transformers, neither BBMP nor Bescom has shown any enthusiasm for doing so.

“We have been requesting them to remove the transformer in front of Raghavendra Mutt for the longest time. In 2001, they said that the expenditure was Rs 2 lakh. Now they say they have to spend Rs 30 lakh to move it,” he says.

The Sarakki Main Road which is the connecting road to 100 feet Ring Road to Inner Ring Road from BTM Layout is another story. There are no footpaths at all and commercial establishments are practically perched on the road. This area incidentally is where the present Mayor S K Nataraj resides and constitutes a considerable vote bank. So violations are not taken seriously.

Secretary of the JP Nagar 1st Phase Residents Welfare Association, B R Udupa says that one needs to look at the building belonging to a former BBMP Assistant Law Officer and another government official, who have built houses on a road (in picture), to understand the scale of violations. This house in TMC Yard has blocked the road connecting the Sarakki Main road. Though a complaint has been lodged, no action has been taken on this matter.

Open storm water drains is another problem facing the area. While it is not covered in many areas, the uncovered stretches are filled with filth and mud. Surprisingly, unlike other areas, no silt removal exercise before the monsoon sets in, has begun here.

Now citizens have formed a Shakamabari Citizens’ Forum to address BBMP related issues plaguing the area. They intend to monitor BBMP works and pitch proposals on what works should take priority in the area.

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