Monday, May 03, 2010

Old area with few woes

Old area with few woes
Enthusiastic Second-Timer B Somashekhar, Who Was Also One Of The Contenders For The Mayoral Post, Is A 24/7 Corporator. His Immediate Priority: Laying Of Footpaths In The Entire Ward
A T Subrahmanya | TNN

He Is Keen On Providing All Possible Comforts To Residents Of His Ward
Bangalore: This ward is among the affluent and old residential areas of Bangalore. Shakhambarinagar, a new ward comprising Jayanagar 5th Block and 8th Block and JP Nagar 1st Phase, has educated residents, with almost an equal male and female population.
Some areas are exceptions to the rule, like the 350 houses in Rajarajeshwari slum. For B Somashekhar, a second-term corporator from BJP, the responsibility is as huge as that of a corporator from an area which is lagging in basic amenities.
Somashekhar, who is enthusiastic about providing all comforts to the citizens of the area, was also a contender for the mayoral post. “We don’t have many problems, but there are minor issues, including drinking water problem at ITI Layout and other areas,’’ he says.
He has already distributed nearly 3,000 copies of a unique calender, where each page of the 12-page calender consists of numbers of all government departments. Each page of the calender contains different helpline numbers and his number. “If they don’t get any help, they could contact me,’’ he says. Communication with residents is the most important thing for Somashekhar. He has a register in which he documents all the residents’ problems.
Somashekhar had contested against Congress and JD(S) candidates, but had won by a considerable margin. After assuming charge, Somashekhar’s first goal was to set up a helpline for property tax collection, as per the order. The helpline, situated in the ward office, aims to help citizens wade through the complex procedure of payment of property tax and also the receipt of cash discount.
Laying of footpaths in the entire ward has been his immediate priority. “The old sanitation lines in ITI Layout are old, 6-inch pipes, we will need to replace them with 9 or 12-inch lines,’’ he says.
Rajarajeshwari slum, the only one in the ward, is getting a facelift with the Slum Board building 350 houses for the slum-dwellers, and biometric cards were distributed a few days earlier. “With the improvement of the slum, our ward will become completely developed,’’ says Somashekhar.
A NEW IDEA FOR THE WARD
Our ward consists of mainly educated people who are looking for something beyond civic amenities. So along with our Jayanagar MLA B N Vijayakumar, I am planning to have an e-library in our ward. It will have the usual books along with computers, and also serve as a BangaloreOne kind of centre.
CONTACT POINT
Are you a resident of Shakhambarinagar ward? Have a problem? Voice it to your corporator:
Call: 9845155479 / 42068646.
Assembly Constituency:
Shakhambarinagar
Area: 1.85 sqkm
Localities: Jayanagar 8th Block, Jayanagar 5th Block, TMC Layout, JP Nagar 1st Phase, and Shakambarinagar PROBLEM AREAS Drinking water scarcity in few areas Old sanitation lines Traffic chaos due to ongoing Metro work
KNOWING HIM B Somashekhar, 40, hails from JP Nagar 2nd Phase. Has been an active BJP worker for more a decade now, and won the corporation election on a BJP ticket from Jayanagar old ward 58. This is his second term as corporator.
I’M ACCESSIBLE
ALL THE TIME
What are your main observations about your ward?
We have no major problem. There are some minor issues and we want to iron out all of them in the BDA pockets which are welldeveloped, and provide all basic amenities in the new revenue layouts.
What can residents of Shakhambarinagar ward expect from you?
They can expect me to be accessible to them all the time. I have distributed my number to the residents and will be available to solve their problems all the time.
What’s your main action plan and how will you go about it?
We have a lot of plans for our ward and under the guidance of our MLA, I will soon have a proper action plan to tackle all the major issues. As of now, there is a niggling traffic situation near Banashankari temple, and I will ensure the construction of houses at the slum.
Vision for Shakhambarinagar ward
Our ward is already a better ward and I want to make it a model ward in all senses.
RESIDENTS SPEAK
The corporator should consult the public before taking any decision and also allow the public to monitor the projects. There are some specific issues: we don’t have a proper playground in our locality, and the existing one is being used for several functions, which needs to be stopped.
— Mukund N | RESIDENT
The major issue is property tax payment. But compared to our experience over the past two or three years, this year, the process has been much more organized. Sometimes, people at the centre help residents fill up the forms. I think they should look at implementing online payment of property tax, like in the case of income-tax, by assigning property IDs. They could also increase the number of cash counters.
— V Murali | RESIDENT
Our area is well-developed and we don’t have many problems which others face. The corporator visits us regularly to ask about our problems. Footpath work is getting done, which is appreciable.
— Kannada Ramu | RESIDENT

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