Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Haralur sees a boom, but residents see doom

Haralur sees a boom, but residents see doom
The Times of India

Bangalore: What happens when residential apartments and complexes mushroom in an area least prepared for such a thing? Roads turn into slush, civic amenities are forgotten and life, in short, becomes hellish.

That is why people who live in and around Haralur Road now plan a public protest on August 15. Haralur Road is off Sarjapur Road and has seen booming real estate development lately. “We all moved here in the past two-and-a-half years and things have gone from bad to worse,’’ said Dinesh Madhavan.

Madhavan and others members of Haralur Residents Association are angry with a developer who has a huge residential project on Haralur Road. The project, in the making for the past two-and-a-half years, comprises some 800 flats. “This is a kacha road and heavy trucks plying to and fro (with construction material for the project) has made things worse. Also, the builder pumps out collected rainwater (inside the complex) onto the main road,’’ says Adity Roy Nair, a resident.

The developer, residents claim, has also encroached onto the road. “They have laid stone slabs for the trucks.’’
More complications: To make matters worse, on Monday, Bellandur panchayat (the area gram panchayat) brought in an excavator to remove
the stone slabs and start relaying the road, but officials from public works department (PWD) stopped them. Bellendur panchayat member (and former president) K. Jagannath said the panchayat has collected money — “Rs 30 lakh from the panchayat and Rs 60 lakh from the public — to asphalt the road, build a proper stormwater drain and make way for sanitary lines. But now PWD claims this road is under its jurisdiction. We are helpless,’’ he says.

Residents allege a nexus between the developer and government officials. “The panchayat first said it would lay a 40-foot-wide road. In that case, apartment owners on either side of the road would have had to give up land. Now, PWD says it will build a 30-foot-road; there is something fishy,’’ maintains Madhavan.

To make things worse, on Monday, a resident fell and fractured her elbow. There have been many such accidents, residents claim.
“Also, school buses no longer come the whole way, so our children have to brave this stretch,’’ Nair adds.

But when contacted, a representative for the developer denied having encroached on the road. “People are frustrated at the state of infrastructure in Bangalore. That is why they are saying such things,’’ the official says.

Residents are fed up and plan to go ahead with their August 15 protest. Now, Bellendur GP officials plan to attend the protest too!


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