Friday, May 07, 2010

His dreams hover around a lake

His dreams hover around a lake

Civic leader wants to restore the glory of this much-neglected tourist spot

Crystal Yumnam and Nandini BP



Carrying his parents' initials proudly with his name, NR Ramesh, the new civic leader of Yediyur, is perhaps the most erudite corporator in the city today. He carries four degrees.A booklover with a home library, he reads two score magazines a week.
As he sets out on a ward yatra with DNA, he is greeted by people along the way. And he thanks God by saying he only has to enhance the quality of their living. Basic facilities are already in place. "My ward has no slums and most residents are well off," he says smilingly.
Ramesh, who won on BJP ticket, appears to be liked by even those who did not vote for him. There is a reason. "He is a simple man who is available to listen to our problems any time of the day. We are glad that he has been elected," says Abhishek Jain, a resident of Jayanagar 3rd Block.
Water scarcity and poor drainage demand immediate attention, says Ramesh. Steps are under way to address these problems, he says, drawing our attention to some workers busily digging along the road to fix new water and drainage lines.
While their digging goes on, deep in his mind is a dream to revive the glory of the place and make it a tourist destination. Focus will be on Yediyur's rich history and heritage and rejuvenation of the lake which is a balmy place for work-weary Bangaloreans. "I want to make Yediyur Lake the most popular tourist spot," says Ramesh.
Sidhalingeswara temple, the pond, the lake and the surrounding landscapes can draw tourists. A distinguishing feature of the lake is the beautiful figurine of a girl sculpted by John Irving located at the centre of the lake. Over the years, local artists have added their own contributions to enhance the beauty of the lake.
But what puts off visitors and local residents is the bad drainage system in the ward.
"This ward's antiquity is reflected in the drainage system. It ought to be changed. Thankfully, some works are going on to improve it," says Prajwal Srinivas, a young resident.
At Thyagaraj Nagar, a resident Uthpal Kumar requests the corporator to install electronic pumps to make water available to all homes in the area. He nods in agreement.
At Tagore Circle, the issue is underpass. Many say it was unnecessary. Some old people ask him to apply brakes on young bikers who indulge in speeding at night. "I agree with you. Residents need a good night's sleep. Speeding takes place at unearthly hours. I plan to set up a voluntary squad of local residents to nab such youths," says Ramesh.
The ward has greenery, parks and playgrounds but the Metro work has denuded some areas. He plans to undertake a green yatra to get public support for a massive tree planting campaign.
The ward with a population of 60,000 comprises Jayanagar 3rd, 6th, and 7th blocks, Basavanagudi, Tata Silk Farm, Sakkamma Garden, Vijayarangam Layout, Yediyur, Upparahalli, Oballappa Nagar, Thyagaraj Nagar, Byrappa Block and Shasthri Nagar.
The ward has many active associations such as Chakreshwari Mahila Sangha, Basavanagudi Dweller's Association, and Jayanagar Federation of Residents' Welfare Association. Shankara Jayanthi Mandali on Shankara Krupa Road carries out many activities like pravachana and cultural programmes.
"The crime rate in the ward is low. Very few cases have been filed recently. There are four police stations in the ward and night patrolling is intense," says he.
"We expect a lot from our corporator as he is a responsible person and one who can connect to the people well," says Rajiv Raj, a resident of Jayanagar 7th Block.
"I would like to change the whole profile of the ward in five years. I will give my best to make my ward one of the model wards in Bangalore and a trouble-free one too," says Ramesh.

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