Friday, May 14, 2010

Pushing through much-needed reforms

Pushing through much-needed reforms
He’s surprised them with many quick changes ever since he took over as the new corporator. An increasing number of residents of Maruthi Seva Nagar are excited and look forward to more action on the ground.
Aarthi R | TNN

PROBLEM AREAS Garbage disposal Water shortage Traffic congestion Unhygienic slums
KNOWING Him R Rajendran, 43, has known the lanes and bylanes of this ward ever since he moved here in 1983. Has been doing active party work for over 20 years. This is his first stint as a corporator. Earlier, he was the MSIL director. Thirsty Ward Got Free Tanker Water, 80 Roads Were Asphalted
Bangalore: With at least seven slums, Maruthi Seva Nagar still remains a congested ward burdened with complaints about civic problems. Irregular garbage disposal and regular water shortage top the list. But, an increasing number of residents now see some hope in their corporator who has put in place relief measures.
The day after the BBMP poll results were out, free water tankers were the first refreshing change for the thirsty ward. That was R Rajendran keeping his campaign promise.
At least 80 roads have been asphalted at an estimated Rs 1 crore — this includes main roads, cross roads and even interior roads across many areas. Now, it’s extending beyond roads and tanker supply. He has now begun renovation of the Thambi bridge. Narrow and dilapidated, this 12-year-old steel bridge over an open drain is the access to at least 1,000 houses. The two-month project will broaden it from 11 ft to at least 20 ft. Alongside, desilting work will be completed, he assured.
The next project on the anvil is a new post office at Jeevanahalli exclusively for the ward. “We have been dependent on the post office at Frazer Town. Having one for our ward is special,’’ says the corporator who has been able to kickstart some long-pending reforms.
The ward is dotted with slums and there are plans to convert BBMP’s welfare schemes into meaningful and sustainable employment opportunities for slum dwellers. They are being shortlisted for the free iron boxes and barber kits likely to be introduced. “Once we equip the right people with the right tools, slums will no longer be dependent on anyone. They have the talent, they just lack aptitude and support,’’ explains Rajendran.
There’s some momentum to the change but it must continue. Earlier, I used to work on getting our area problems solved. Now, I’m happy I needn’t carry it all on my shoulders. Naganpalya and Shantkumar Layout had no roads at all when I moved here. The stretch from Banaswadi to Byappanahalli was laid within a week. But there are some issues — traffic is a big problem and some roads need to be widened. It takes more than 30 minutes to cross 1.5 kms! — Mahaboob Basha | SHANTKUMAR LAYOUT
Our area is one of the posh areas with educated residents. But nine years ago, there was nothing here. There’s asphalting of roads and drains and lightings are in place. We still face water shortage but both the MLA and the corporator have brought some immediate relief with their free tanker supply. He solves the problem and that’s nice but we expect more. We shouldn’t stop developing. — G Anjum | VIVEKANANDANAGAR RESIDENTS’ WELFARE ASSOCIATION
Garbage is brought to Lloyd Road and disposed of behind the Ambedkar Dental College. There must be a way of preventing such large-scale dumping of garbage that’s not even generated by residents on the road. The garbage, which includes plastic waste, is often set on fire by municipal workers and this causes toxic fumes in the morning when the air should be clean and fresh.
—Ayisha Abraham
My vision for ward?
It should be better than what it was when I took over as corporator. There are problems but with the people, we can find solutions.
What are your main observations about the ward?
There are many civic problems, but garbage disposal is the greatest challenge.
What changes can people expect from you?
They now have a person who will hear them and voice their concerns. The rest is all team work.
What is your action plan?
There’s action already on the ground. There’s no use of planning without execution. Currently, I’m concentrating on the immediate concerns like water supply and road works. We’re also planning other civic and infrastructure projects jointly with the BBMP and the MLA. W RD A PROFILE Assembly Constituency: Sarvagnanagar
Area: 2.37 sq km
BL Rice Nagar (St. Thomas Town), Balaji Layout, D’Costa Square, Cooke Town, Vivekananda Nagar, Jaibharath Nagar, Sanjeevappa Layout, Jeevanahalli, ITC Colony, KHB Colony, Sathya Nagar, Maruthi Seva Nagar
Are you a resident of Maruthi Seva Nagar? Have a problem? Voice it to your corporator
Call: 9886536901 / 25482029
Has the corporator of your ward got down to brass tacks? Is he already in touch with Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) and, in fact, got some grievances redressed? If you or your RWA has spotted such active corporators, please give us the details. Team TOI will reach there for a spot inspection and coverage of the good work. This exercise will help recognize the hands-on corporators and, hopefully, shame the laggards into action.


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