Monday, July 26, 2010

Oh God, can you tone it down?

Oh God, can you tone it down?
This is the fervent plea of residents of 13th Cross, J P Nagar, Ist Phase. An extremely noisy temple in the locality is getting on their nerves
M K Ashoka bmfeedback@indiatimes.com


For the residents of 13th Cross, J P Nagar, Ist Phase, ‘God’ seems to be playing chief troublemaker. The street has about 15 houses and at least six inhabitants are heart patients. The problem: The electric bell of the Balamuri Ganapathi Temple nearby seems to be getting on the nerves of the residents and these six patients in particular.
S Ramanujam (77), a retired railway department official who is on a pacemaker, says, it is very difficult to live in the area. ‘’Despite repeated pleas, the bell goes on and on for hours together. What’s more, the people in charge of the temple use unparliamentary words in response to our complaints. I am being forced to stay in my brother’s house in Jayanagar, 4th Block, since the last three months, just to avoid complications. My pulse would go haywire. Speed variations are dangerous for me. The sound would irritate me to such an extent that I would go to bed without food.”
‘’We are going through hell. We have a right to peaceful surroundings. As it is, we have to put up with vehicular noise pollution, and to add to this, noisy bhajans begin at 4 am and go on till 11 pm. Doesn’t anyone care for old folks?,” said C R Badarinath, retd director, MSML (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises).
The residents have complained to the authorities concerned quite a few times but the problem seems to be getting out of hand. The temple tied up with Sindhur choultry recently. The result: Noisy marriage ceremonies which go on for hours together.
Mukundan R, DGM (Sales), Ford Cars, had undergone a heart operation three months ago. ‘’It’s irritating. The temple opens at 6.30 am and the rituals go on till 10.30 am. Again in the evenings, they open at 5.30 pm and go on till 9.30 pm. On most days, there are special pujas which go on till 11 pm. I cannot even open the windows to let in some breeze. We cannot even watch television, as the noise from the temple is deafening’’.
Senior citizens explain that the sites in the locality were allotted on Dec 31, 1976, by the then City Improvement Trust Board (CITB). A small temple structure came up in 2000.
Residents say that if the temple operates without creating a racket, they couldn’t ask for more. They also want strict temple timings, i.e. 10 am to 5 pm only.
When contacted, Bette Gowda, executive engineer, Sarakki Ward, said, “I came to this place recently. I will call up the assistant executive engineer and the executive engineer. I will find a solution to the problem soon.”
Janardhan B R, a trustee of the temple, asserted that the people of the locality want the temple. ‘’The allegation that we are creating a nuisance is totally false,” he said.
SHADOW FEAR
In a hurry to expand the holy structure, the authorities have actually ended up constructing a toilet facing Lord Ganesha’s idol housed within the temple. Besides, Hindu traditions state that if the shadow of a temple falls on residential houses, it bodes ill. This fear is also haunting some residents of houses nearby.

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