Saturday, January 30, 2010

They refuse to buy new problems

They refuse to buy new problems

Jayanagar and its neighbourhood is no longer a halcyon residential area as it witnesses a growing commercial activity that opens up civic amenity problems like parking, sanitation and congestion. Talking to Shwetha S, the residents demand steps to bridle the Metro work and resolve their parking woes which are making their life miserable

While Metro work kicks up a lot of dust, the stench in Jayanagar's BDA Complex makes residents' stomachs churn

Shwetha S

This won't make Namma Metro bosses happy. The young in Jayanagar are pretty cut up with the Metro for the way it is polluting their air by kicking up tonnes of dust — the singled most important issue, they insist, their new civic leader must take up for them.
Jayanagar, with the largest planned residential areas in Asia, is also the 'Nalanda' of Bangalore housing 32 educational institutions. But this pride of city, befriended by many luminaries, most prominent of them being the Infosys mentor NR Narayana Murthy and late actor Vishnuvardhan, has also grown into an extremely busy commercial area. This has added to its prosperity but stolen its charming ambience which attracted the bigwigs.
"The BBMP is bereft of any aesthetic sense," this is how a student in his early twenties describes the Palike for ignoring the infrastructural needs of a residential locality graduating to commercial segment.
Jayanagar is personified by the Cosmopolitan Club and the nearby playground with the skating rink. The young and old frequenting here, who beam at being called 'Jayanagarian,' have many quarrels with the Palike but nothing is so pronounced as their angst against the "mindless" metro rail project that goes about the work in a cavalier manner, trampling environmental concern under its iron wheels.
"We know the Metro will help us in the long run. But it need not destroy our greenery and parks and kick up tonnes of dust and smoke," protests Avinash Hegde, a second year degree student with National College.
"Yes, da," chips in Rakesh Shetty, another student and Avinash's buddy, "We have parks but we no longer go there because the metro project spews tonnes of dust and all greenery is coated with a thick layer of dust."
Nursing mothers are angrier than others on this count. "My two-year-old daughter's cough is turning to a chronic disease. The doctor says it is due to the constant imbibing of dust," says Divija M, living near Lalbagh. If she had had a magic wand, she would have used it to complete the Metro in one day and be done with it.
"Look at the way they work," points out Meghanad, an engineer in his 40's. "They ram right through the greenery and parks. They could have planned and executed the project skirting precious parks," says he.
"I stay near the road parallel to the Rose garden," says Meghashree, an interior designer. "To speed up the project, the Metro people work even in late nights violating all rules. As their heavy machines keep pounding the ground, we can't sleep peacefully anymore," she adds angrily. The metro work has also damaged the power cables and often power goes off. This adds to the discomfort of citizens.
Students compelled to take different routes, overnight conversion of roads into one-way or two-way and rise in theft cases due to power failures are some of the other problems people in this constituency attribute to metro.
"For going to college, we take Nanda Road but every second or third day, the traffic police keep changing the diversion from one route to another, which is annoying," says Krishna Rao, a student of KIET Engineering College.
Jayanagar BDA complex is a sprawling commercial hub housing some 500-odd shops, six government offices, a railway booking centre, a regional transport office, tutorials and restaurants. "But what do you see," asks RN Bandey, a bank official. "The whole complex is kept untidy. People spit and pee anywhere they like."
Maybe, this is due to lack of comfort stations. But boys are urinating in front of a girls' college. That is shocking and Malini Gowda, a student, does not know whom to approach to put an end to this nuisance.
The transformation of a peaceful residential area to a commercial hub was made without a debate on the part of the BBMP, says Bhaskar B, executive committee member of Residential Welfare Association (RWA). "The problems of sanitation and parking are now the most pronounced in this area," he says.
The RWA has been asking for a multi-story car parking space in Jayanagar complex. But shopkeepers are not co-operating for fear of losing their space. Residents of Jayanagar wards hope their new civic leader will solve their problems.


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