Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This sportsman bats for greenery

This sportsman bats for greenery

Civic leader aims high, seeks global standards for his ward

Divyashree Murthy and Nandini BP



DNA's ward yatra with newly elected civic leaders finds more contenders for the 'model ward' award. Among them, N Nagaraju, corporator-elect of Byrasandra (Jayanagar), stands out. This 'green sportsman', as he is fondly called by local residents for his love for greenery and sports, seeks global standards for his ward.
Consider this. As he takes a round of the ward and meets residents, he does not give them a chance to list their woes. Instead, he himself recites a list of things few grassroots leaders usually think of — a sports stadium of international standards with synthetic track, more parks (he is credited with creating 17 parks), modern sports facilities in schools, and 24x7 alert facilities. The list is long and the residents DNA met vouched for the man's sincerity.
"Nagaraju is a sincere and simple person who vibes well with the residents. When he says something, he really means it," says Bhaskar Murthy KV, president of the Federation of Jayanagar Residents' Welfare Association. The ward is already commercialised, especially areas such as Jayanagar 4th Block and 3rd Block. And yet, it has a huge green cover, a rare thing in present-day Bangalore. Most residents attribute this to Nagaraju.
Residents say in private they do not have many of the woes their counterparts elsewhere face.
"He is a self-starter and needs very little initiation from the people to plan and executive progressive steps," says a man in his 30's.
Nagaraju's approach towards conservation of energy and water is commendable. "We are active participants in the rainwater harvesting programme initiated by Nagaraju. This has raised the ground water level," says Arjun Raj Maasthi, a student living in Jayanagar 3rd Block.
To reduce dependability on Bescom and conserve energy, plans of solar windmills and solar lights are being formulated.
When a senior citizen he met on the way complained of lack of security at night, the corporator assured him a 24x7 helpline and more policemen for night patrol. The ward has also ensured proper information system to visitors.
"The signboards around the place help and regular checking of varied points gives us a sense of security," says Varun Krishnan, an employee with Accenture and a new resident.
Nagaraju himself plays with the Gen Y. He is good at cricket and other sports. This is evident when he joins a group of children playing cricket on a grassless ground. As he bats, the young ones look with wonder at the 'VIP player'.
Children love the parks. "I love playing in the park," says a cheerful Navneeth, enjoying his time with his parents in the park. The users of the various parks around the area consider cultural programmes, often organised in the parks, as a bonus.
"The women's day celebration at the Chiguru Mantapa in the park was an excellent show giving us a cultural extravaganza and also marking the importance of the day," says S Akhila, anchor person of LCH Ladies' Laughing Club.
The ward comprises Jayanagar 4th Block Shopping Complex, Jayanagar 3th Block, Gita Colony, Swimming Pool extension, Byrasandra Village, Mountain Street, BDA Layout, LIC Colony, Canara Bank Layout, KV Layout, Corporation Colony, Swagath Garuda, Tilaknagar, Nakkal Bande slum and Kaveri slum. Patches of slums notwithstanding, the ward has earned a name of being fairly well managed.
Growing traffic is, as elsewhere, a concern for the residents here but they take heart on the fact that it is far better than in other places in the city. This Jayanagar ward proves that commercial and residential interests need not always clash as development has not quite deprived the residents of their quality life.Howzzat:N Nagaraju playswith children of Byrasandra ward

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