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To reach this place one has to take the road to hell and when it rains one can also opt to swim

These IT employees in Bengalurus Electronic City live by the road to hell
news Civic Issues Monday, July 11, 2016 - 20:27

On paper, Doddathoguru appears to be the ideal location for a techie in Bengaluru to live in. There’s no need to stress about coming in late to work, and beating the city’s nightmarish traffic. Located in Electronic city phase 1, the residential area is less than two kilometres from the IT hub, housing tech parks and multi-national companies. 

Sounds great, right? But the residents in this neighbourhood paint a different picture.

The tarred roads, laid years ago, have literally turned to mud. Doddathoguru is a picture of contrast. An urban colony of glass, steel and concrete run along this four kilometre dirt path.

“To reach this place one has to take the road to hell and when it rains one can also opt to swim. During heavy rains, the area gets flooded and it just turns into a pond for close to 24 hours, ”says Jishan, one of the residents in the area.

The residents, most of whom are techies working in multi-national companies, are now bearing the brunt of the Doddathoguru Panchayat’s decision to lay sewage lines. They say that the road was falling apart for the last two years. But it was only after the underground sewage lines work started that the road became non-motorable.

“Buses once plied on this road. Now the road is too narrow for a car. You can forget riding a bike in this mud,” says Jishan

Lakshya, who has been living in the area for over ten years, says, “The areas around – Chikkathoguru, Velankani to Thoguru cross are under BBMP except for this area which is under a BJP panchayat. I don’t know why the area is still under panchayat. In fact, there were sewage lines already. The new panchayat wanted a brand new underground system. Is this only to make money?”

The residents allege that the officials gave them a notice earlier this year saying that every house has to pay Rs 10,000 for the new sewage connection.

“There are thousands of houses. The money they would make would run into crores,” he claims.

“When asked what about the existing connection, the officials said that it was unauthorised. They indirectly even threatened us saying that we will not get the sewage connection if we don’t pay, Now, whatever development that the panchayat wants to bring in should be through the property tax we pay, why should we pay an extra amount?” asks Lakshya.

He says that the IT companies in the area pay a tax to panchayat and to the BBMP depending on where they are located.

Lakshya states, “The money paid as tax to panchayat is less than what BBMP takes.” He also claims that the IT companies don’t pay tax regularly.  

Lack of town planning

Lakshya points out that in the last ten years that he has lived in Doddathoguru, there has been absolutely no town planning in the neighbourhood.

 “If a plot is only allowed three floors, the builder pays a bribe and builds an extra two floors. Imagine the load the road would have to take,” says Jishan.

Jishan says that there have been many times when people have met with accidents.

“When it comes to two-wheelers, accidents occur every other day. When it rains, one can’t even think of stepping out,” he says.  

Having had enough, the residents decided to take the matter to the highest authority, writing to the Prime Minister’s Office in January. The PMO replied stating that the problem would be sorted by April. But no action has been taken so far.

The panchayat officials did not respond to The News Minute’s repeated calls.

(The names of the residents are changed on request.) 

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