Thursday, November 27, 2008

BBMP turns haven into hell

BBMP turns haven into hell

It’s been a nightmare for Alister Vieyra and his family in their 100-year-old house on Residency Road. They have been deprived of electricity and water, their compound wall and gate has been demolished, as the BBMP continues unconcerned with its ‘repairs’ on the storm water drain

Shashwathi Bhanukumar & Vinesh Vasanth Betrabet
Posted On Thursday, November 27, 2008

Because of the trench, Alister, who needs help to walk, finds it risky to even venture out.
Instances of the BBMP’s callousness are legion. But this beats most of them. For almost three weeks, Alister Vieyra and his family, the occupants of Beck Haven, house number 29 on Residency Road, have been living without electricity and water because of ‘repair’ work being carried out by the civic body outside the house.

Alister’s problems don’t end here. The BBMP has encroached on the property where the house stands and the existing compound wall and gate have been partially demolished. The worst part is that the BBMP has been totally indifferent to Alister’s protests.

The house incidentally is the only house standing on Residency Road and is 100 years old.

It was around three weeks ago that the BBMP dug up the area near the War Memorial at the Residency Road-Brigade Road junction and had promised to complete the storm water drain works in a week’s time. But then, as expected they have not kept their deadline.

Little did Alister and his family foresee the nightmare that they would go through, just a few days after the BBMP started digging work in the name of ‘repairs to the drain’ when there was no problem with the drain in the first place. “This work is totally uncalled for. When it began we thought it would be good for the future regarding the drainage but now the situation is getting out of hand. They have encroached about three to four feet of our property,” Alister said. The workers even had the temerity to tell Alister that they were from the BBMP and would do as they pleased, and dared him to try and stop them.

Alister, venting his anger at the BBMP, said, “We have been staying in this house for the past one hundred years. First it was my forefathers, now it is my family. We have been earnest in paying taxes for our part of the property”. Alister needs support to walk after having suffered an accident last year. The digging work has made his movements extremely risky and restricted.

Part of Beck Haven’s compound wall been demolished by the BBMP
His wife Rosanin too speaks about the problems they are facing. “We were told that it would get over soon and moreover they did not tell us that we would lose a part of our property. They have destroyed half our compound and also the gate without our permission. We did not get any kind of notice from the authorities and the engineers here are rude too,” she fumed.

She added that at night the workers come and urinate in their compound and have also dirtied their newly painted walls with ‘paan’.

In fact, Rosanin and Alister along with their daughter, have survived without electricity and water for quite some days as the BBMP workers had cut the cables while working. “We then contacted the BESCOM people and they came and put a temporary board with a connection but that too was taken out by these people,” said Rosanin. They have now kept the board in what remains of the house compound. Water too was restored only after five days.

When confronted about the problems the people in the house are facing, the engineer in charge, Chikryappa, had this to say, “They were informed about the work and gave their consent to it and now they are complaining. It is for their welfare that this work is being done.” As for Shivanna, the contractor, he didn’t even feign any concern. “We will put up the gate and the compound once the work is done,” he said dismissively.

As though all this weren’t enough, the public too seems to be bent on adding to Alister’s problems. People have started using part of the demolished compound now as parking space! “The road has turned into a pseudo-parking lot. Vehicles are parked in a haphazard manner. The least they can do is to put up a ‘no parking’ board here,” said Alister.

This thoughtless and unplanned execution of so-called repair work by the BBMP has not only thrown traffic out of gear on that road but has also put lives in danger. Trenches have been left open. Nor are there any signs to warn people not to venture anywhere near them. Water and power to many shops in the area were completely cut off and they stayed so for three days.

Now, who is answerable for all this?


At Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 11:54:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bhanukumar, Vinesh,
I see a very touchy ironical tale here and this seems to be the plight of many a Banglorean of today.
Indeed a nice venture trying to blog on the nightmarish life of many a citizens and the perils that they undergo.
The pen is mightier than the sword, they say. Unfortunately for the busy and corrupt politicians, there is not a second to spare to read what the pen pens about the woes of the woe betide Indians. Dr.Kalam says "Be the change you want to see" and I strongly believe in this. Your blog and writings may reach a very few. What is required is more sound words in way of action. Try doing that which will make the world see the change you bring for them.
Appreciate your words and wish you luck in the change you want to bring!


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