BWSSB dug up the roads in Kasavanahalli, and have only filled them with mud, making them difficult to navigate.

Authorities promised this Bluru locality water connections but took away their roadsFile image of protests by residents in March
news Civic Issues Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 11:47

In March, hundreds of residents from Kasavanahalli, in Bengaluru, hit the streets, threatening to vote for NOTA in the May 12 Assembly elections, citing poor civic amenities in the neighbourhood.

The authorities took cognisance of their complaints, after months of protesting, and recently, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) began work by laying pipes for water connections and underground drainage systems.

However, this has posed a whole other problem for residents of the area, for the roads have become such a mess that locals can barely use them. All these, thanks to a lack of coordination between different government bodies and their lackadaisical approach to the residents’ complaints.

Read: Will vote NOTA in polls: Bengalurueans protest over poor roads, water supply, infra

“There is no clear timeline for the closure of the works. The private entity which bagged the contract doesn't even have the task of making roads motorable after all this digging. It is only going to get worse as BWSSB now is in survey mode for the UGD (Under Ground Drainage) works,” Vishnu, of the Kasavanahalli Development Forum (KDF), said.

KDF is an umbrella organisation of 28 resident welfare associations of the area.

Kasavanahalli falls under the Bellandur ward and is home to many professionals who work in the city’s IT corridor. It also acts as a passage between Electronic City and Wipro Park, ITPL and Outer Ring Road and, as a result, witness massive traffic snarls.

“When you run such large-scale projects covering 110 villages of Bruhat Bengaluru, they should be milestone-based and there should be a holistic plan of UGD and Cauvery connection with a budget for the restoration of roads. A lack of this means many Bellandur villages are now non-motorable. It’s in a pathetic state even when it is not raining,” Vishnu added.

The same is echoed by others who live here or have to commute through the area.

“For about 50% of a 3-4 km stretch on Kasavanahalli Road, there is no road at all. During the rains, it all collapsed. It became a big hole and nothing has been done for a month even though it is one of the arterial roads connecting Electronic City to Whitefield and Sarjapur.  They have just put in mud and rolled it with the JCB. One cannot even walk on the road; you will slip and fall,” Rohin, another Kasavanahalli resident, said.

Although, residents were expecting the roads to be repaired, after some time, they figured out that neither the BWSSB or the BBMP had a budget to repair the roads.

Following this, the residents had met Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj on June 19. The residents sought funds from the Mayor’s discretionary funds for the improvement of the neighbourhood.

“Collectively, we prioritized non-motorable roads and SWD (storm water drains) with the Mayor. One of the things the Mayor promised was to grant his discretionary funds if we could justify the situation. So we mapped around 40 km of roads where there are non-functional SWDs to convince him that the situation is really bad,” Vishnu explained.  

After meeting with the Mayor, the residents met Chief Engineer Parameshwaraiah of Mahadevapura Zone the following day, who assured that he will take up the entire budgeting procedure.

“Now BWSSB has been asked to give details of how much digging will take place and the BBMP can present a budget for that. We asked them to make the existing roads motorable. Now, is not possible to even walk down these roads. So far Parameshwaraiah has acknowledged the problem and has been very supportive of our concerns,” Vishnu added.

The KDF called for making the existing roads motorable that sustains for next 6 months before proper asphalting is done following closure of BWSSB works.

Chief Engineer Parameshwaraiah told TNM, “We cannot do magic. Resources have to be allocated, we have to to do planning and then tenders have to be called as per procedures. Then the project will be executed.”

Speaking to TNM, the Mayor said, “I have asked for their proposal. After seeing that whatever money is available, I will give it to them.”

BWSSB Chief Engineer could not be reached for a comment.


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