Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Public too responsible for rain havoc: CM

Public too responsible for rain havoc: CM
DH News Service Bangalore:
Public should also understand their responsibilities as citizens. When they blame the administration for the inconvenience caused to them, they should introspect on what wrong they have committed”, Kumaraswamy said.

Who is responsible for the clogged drains, water logged roads, flooded basements and illegal constructions in Bangalore? The answer is simple - politicians, officials and the general public are equally responsible for the havoc created by rain in the city, according to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.

As in the last rainy season, this time too the chief minister along with a batallion of officials from the civic agencies visited some of the rain hit areas in the city on Monday. The areas included - parts of Sujata Theatre area in Rajajinagar, Bapuji Nagar, Kamakya Extension and BTM Layout.

After the visit, Mr Kumaraswamy told the accompanying reporters that the rain water clogged in many areas because of gross building by-law violations and unauthorised constructions attached to storm water drain valleys. “Power hungry politicians, corrupt officials and greedy public are responsible for this. Public should also understand their responsibilities as citizens. When they blame the administration for the inconvenience caused to them, they should introspect on what wrong they have committed”, he said.

Mr Kumaraswamy said he will go through records of unauthorised constructions and take strict actions against officers who gave approval for such constructions and builders. “I am not going to yield to any pressure”, he said. He also directed Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike to blacklist contractors who delayed in completing work. The chief minister was flooded with complaints from the public during his visit to the rain affected places.

“Sir, we spend sleepless nights whenever it rains”, complained Kamalamma of Kamakya Extension in Banashankari III stage. As the storm water drain passing through the extension overflowed during Saturday’s rain, houses in the locality were filled with water up to a height of 4 ft. The residents blamed delay in completing the construction of retaining walls of the valley as responsible for their plight. “We spent the whole night on the terrace with children. We can’t eat, we can’t sleep. Foodgrains have been washed away in water. I have nothing to cook,” said Sharadamma.

Ms Shyla Ramadas, Secretary of Dena Bank Residents Welfare Association, alleged that the palike contractor demolished the retaining wall of the valley constructed by the residents and that had resulted in overflow of storm water. “We have spent Rs 75,000 for asphalting roads and Rs 35,000 for retaining wall as no authority concerned took necessary action to provide the basic amenities. Then why should we pay tax to the State government or the palike”, she questioned.

Mr Kumaraswamy after listening patiently to the complaints blamed illegal construction in the locality as the root cause for rain havoc.

“You are also equally responsible as the palike for the rain havoc. Why did you encroach the land to construct houses”, he questioned. He took serious exception to high rise buildings being built illegally alongside the SWD valley. He directed BBMP Commissioner K Jairaj to demolish illegal construction and take action against the officers responsible. The CM visited Bapujinagar, where a few huts attached to Vrushabhavathi SWD canal collapsed during the rains.

After inquiring with the residents the CM learnt that the affected residents had been allotted free houses in Laggere. He took the residents to task for not vacating the place even after getting houses. He instructed the officers to vacate them immediately.


*BBMP: 22221188, 22100031, 32/33/34/35

*BWSSB: 22945129/ 22945240

*Fire: 101


No trace of Subbalakshmi

Subbalakshmi and her petty shop were washed away in Sunday’s rain. Till Monday evening, there was no news about her. Neither the BBMP nor the fire fighting personnel could trace her. BBMP workers dug up silt to half a kilometre inside the Ulsoor drain from Ajantha theatre to Gurudwara in Ulsoor.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said no deaths had been reported due to the rain. “Though media reports say a woman is feared to have been washed away in a drain, it has not been confirmed. Efforts are on to trace her,” he added.


From policy-making to policing!

A resident of Kamakya Extension had a tough time during the Chief Minister’s visit to his locality on Monday. Along with many residents, he was airing problems of the area to Health Minister R Ashok. At one point, he said: “Officers of the Palike don’t listen to us unless they are beaten up in public.”

Objecting to the remark, Mr Ashok asked the police to take the man into custody. Police obeyed the order. Other citizens, however, came to the defence of the arrested man and demanded that he be released. Mr Ashok finally relented.


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