Unhappy with the lack of civic amenities in their neighbourhood, residents of many areas in and around Bengaluru’s Electronic City, a tech hub, have been demanding for years to be brought under Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike limits. Currently, these areas fall under gram panchayat limits under the Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner. Now, with the pandemic exposing gaps in health and civic infrastructure, the residents have re-launched their campaign. The nearest primary healthcare centres (PHC) for the residents are in Singasandra and Jigani, both more than five kilometres away.
Many techies, including those from other states, who have settled in areas like Konappana Agrahara, Doddathogur, Gollahalli, Shikaripalya, Thirupalya, Hulimangala and Neo City, among others, say that despite paying their taxes, they do not receive their fair share of public amenities. Mani Ranjan, one such resident-activist, said, “We think we all deserve better roads, street lights, parks, drinking water, govt healthcare facilities, drainage, public transport, uninterrupted electricity, green cover, garbage management and other public services.”
The residents said that their complaints with the gram panchayat are always met with the same reply: lack of funds. “Like areas under the BBMP, we want single-window facilities to pay tax and bills, and to address residents' issues. We believe adding Electronic City and nearby villages to the BBMP will address all our issues. Following up individual issues with different departments is painful for all of us,” he added. Due to lockdown restrictions and the threat of the pandemic, Mani and his fellow resident-activists could not gather to protest for their cause. So, they took the protest online, and more than 40,000 tweets were posted with #ElectronicCityforBBMP.
This is the real situations of Tech Hub of Bengaluru— Namma Electronic City (@Namma_ECity) May 30, 2021
Citizens demand better infrastructure & Garbage free area.#ElectronicCityForBBMP@citizenmatters @IndianExpress @Vijaykarnataka @CMofKarnataka @karnatakacom @XpressBengaluru @BoskyKhanna @ektasawant77 pic.twitter.com/H4tqUBsY01
#ElectronicCityForBBMP— Rupanka Dey (@DeyRupanka) May 30, 2021
We request your support for development in & around ECity phase1. We are paying our taxes to the Govt as a diligent citizens but there is very minimal development. Plz support us.@KrishnappaMla@DKSureshINC@ELCITA_IN @CMofKarnataka @BBMPCOMM
Mani Ranjan and others pointed out that the Electronic City Industries’ Association (ECIA) does an excellent job of developing and maintaining areas that fall inside and immediately around tech parks. These areas have traffic CCTV cameras, eToilets and other facilities. But, the ECIA opposes residents’ demands to be brought under the BBMP as it would mean higher taxes for tech parks, Mani Ranjan alleged.
“Being a resident for over five years, I haven't seen any development with respect to roads, street lights, drainage, waste management. There are not even enough PHCs, which is a basic necessity,” Sajjimon, another resident, told TNM.
On Saturday, May 29, a temporary PHC was set up in Electronic City, opposite the Infosys campus. However, residents call for all their demands to be heard and acknowledged.