Saturday, June 25, 2005

Koramangala residents show the way

Koramangala residents show the way
Form An E-Group, Move High Court To Fight Civic Problems In Area
The Times of India

Bangalore: They began as an egroup to discuss the civic and other issues. Ten months down, their writ petition has resulted in the high court telling the civic agencies what to do.

Now, they have also got themselves a Tiger. A Tiger, as in the vehicle used to tow away ‘illegally’ parked vehicles.
But then the 130 families that make up the fledgling e-group called ‘Koramangala Initiative’ believe anything is possible with collective will and action.

According to C. N. Radhakrishnan, a core group member, from next week, the group will man the streets of Koramangala (along with traffic police) to tow away illegally parked vehicles. And, as a follow-up to Wednesday’s court order — directing Bangalore City Corporation (BCC) and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to survey and submit a report on building violations in the area — KI will survey the area on its own. “We will also work with the civic agencies in their inspections,’’ a member, Pramod Kapoor (70), told The Times of India.

With ages varying from 23 to 85, these residents have a macro-perspective on the area’s ills — from the commercialisation of residential areas to its perpetual traffic snarls and degrading environment. When the group started, they met everyone: from local civic authorities, the bureaucrats, politicians and so on. They also met other civic and residents’ organisations and agencies such as Public Affairs Centre and Janaagraha. “Then we decided that it is time to approach the court,’’ a KI member said.

Radhakrishnan said they raised Rs 1 lakh to fight the case. “We are treating this as seed money,’’ he said. After their success, the group has been getting many calls from other citizens wanting to lend funds and support.

Others are appreciative of their effort. Honorary general secretary of the Koramangala Residents’ Civic Group (KRCG), R. Ram Murthy, welcomed this proactive attitude.

“But the thing is, we have had such court orders before. These things have to be properly followed up. Sometimes, civic agencies merely submit some report or the other and let matters continue as before. For instance, nothing is being done about the court orders on encroachments of footpaths and civic amenity sites,’’ he stressed.

Swabhimana Koramangala Initiative member Rami Reddy lauded KI’s work. “The commercialisation of the area is so bad that many people I know have sold their homes and moved away,’’ he added.


With ages varying from 23 to 85, residents will highlight the area’s ills: from commercialisation of residential areas to traffic snarls and pollution. From next week, the group will man the streets (along with traffic police) to tow away illegally parked vehicles.

Traffic warden at 85

Zafar Futehally, a noted environmentalist and KI member, is actively involved in the civic issues of his area even now at age 85. He volunteers as a traffic warden and stands on duty when it is his turn!


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