Friday, January 29, 2010

SOUTH ZONE - Down south, Bengaluru sends a stinker

SOUTH ZONE - Down south, Bengaluru sends a stinker

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BBMP south zone is a blend of the old and modern with areas synonymous with old Bengaluru like Jayanagar, Basavanagudi and Banashankari rubbing shoulders with the new and fast developing Koramangala with its modern malls and multiplexes. Some of the best landmarks of the city like Lalbagh and the Bull temple of Basavangudi are found here. Ranga Shankara in JP Nagar fifth phase adds to the intellectual ambience of the locality, which is home to many celebrities, officials and scholars.

Visit Bengaluru south and you see some of the biggest malls of the city in the fast developing Koramangala and also the broad tree lined avenues of Basavanagudi and Jayanagar.
But this says only one side of the story. Move deeper into the zone and you need to hold your breath as the stench from the Vrishabhavathi valley, which runs across the less affluent Bapujinagar, Deepanjalinagar and other areas, is overwhelming.
A river of dirty black water skirts through several areas as nearby industries and houses let their untreated sewage into the valley, letting off not only a stink but also putting at risk the health of the people living nearby. In the absence of supporting walls, the water from the valley often overflows into nearby localities, adding to the unhygienic conditions. Over a 100 people living in Shamanna Gardens recently came down with severe gastroenteritis as the sewage leaked into their drinking water supply.

Come the monsoons and roads here are often flooded by overflowing storm water drains. BTM layout sees such flooding quite regularly, particularly on the Central Silk Board, Tavarekere stretch where the storm water drain is narrower than elsewhere. It was in one such drain that one and half year old Vijay, was washed away last year after he accidentally fell into it at Royal Residency layout, off Bannergatta Road. His body was never found.

The rain is a nightmare for other localities like JP Nagar too, where people need to wade through water flooding their streets and homes during a heavy spell.

Step out of Basavangudi's palatial homes and you may be greeted by one of its many manholes, which regularly overflow as a result of its old and narrow sanitary lines. A trip down Nagarbhavi main road near Govindrajnagar in Vijayanagar gives you an eyeful of this filthy scene.

And while Koramangala may be turning into a shopper's paradise with its many malls and upmarket stores, the garbage lying on its roads is an eyesore that takes away from its otherwise upmarket ambience.
The same is true of Basavanagudi, where the carts donated to BBMP by the local residents' association, have not only never been used, but have also disappeared since.

It is the same story in Vijayanagar and BTM Layout, Hanumanthanagar, Srinagar,and Girinagar where heaps of garbage lie uncleared on the roadsides.

Water is in short supply in some areas due to low pressure and people of BTM Layout often need to depend on tankers for their supply as a result. Slow pace of work on the underpasses at Kadirenahalli and at 15th cross ring road in JP Nagar first phase,is giving commuters a very hard time. As the construction of an underpass at KR road and the Metro Rail on RV road and in Vijayangar, hobbles along, traffic jams have become the order of the day. Like elsewhere stray dogs are a nuisance in many of the localities here.
The south zone is also beginning to see a rise in petty crime, especially in Jayanagar, Koramangala and BTM Layout, leaving women feeling insecure when outdoors. Congress vs BJP Both the BJP and the Congress have a good following in different parts of Bengaluru south. While in Jayanagar, MP Ananth Kumar and MLA Vijayakumar, give the BJP a strong hold, in Padmanabhnagar the party has staunch support as this is the constituency of transport minister, R. Ashok. It was also from here that Mr Ramalingareddy of the BJP was elected to the assembly.
The Congress, meanwhile is strong in BTM layout and dominates in Vijayanagar.
But Koramangala sees people divided in their loyalty between the two parties.


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