Better roads, sanitation and regular supply of water — three very basic requirements have kept most residents of the large K.R. Puram constituency waiting for long. As another election approaches, the needs are still the same and a sense of bitterness prevails.
With 3.39 lakh voters, this constituency could easily be the one with the highest number of voters againBack then, it was a new constituency carved out of the Varthur and Hoskote constituencies, and villages K. Narayanapura, Kottanur, N. Nagenahalli, Kyalasanahalli, Geddalahalli, Horamavu Agara, K. Channasandra, Kalkere, Horamavu and Chalkere were also included.
Not much has changed since then, residents claim. Even today, barring the newly formed residential layouts and apartment complexes that have triggered a real estate boom, the inside pockets of the constituency have a strong resemblance of rural character that they once were.
With a mixed voter base dominated by people from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, migrants and Telugu-speaking people, and a large number of slums (Vijinapura and Nellapuram), these issues hold fort in the constituency.
Anbalagan M., who has been living in Mahadevapura village for 30 years, cannot remember the last time the narrow lane that serves as the only approach to the K.R. Puram Main Road was asphalted.
The sight of private water tankers is a common one. Most residents talk about the joy the installation of pipes for the supply of Cauvery water brought, and the long and disappointing wait that followed — one that is yet to see an end. Some houses have been seeing a once-a-week supply ever since the Assembly elections were announced, but that does not put an end to the steady loss of Rs. 850 every week to the private tanker.
Moving away from the sleepy residential areas, it is an eclectic mix of chaos, with densely populated stretches near the Tin Factory and K.R. Puram Railway Station, as well as vast, quiet expanses of land near the (now defunct) New Government Electrical Factory and Indian Telephone Industries.
Poll watchers say that it is going to be a direct fight between MLA (and realtor) N.S. Nandish Reddy of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress’ Byrathi Basavaraju, who was fielded in the backdrop of the dramatic exit of A. Krishnappa who was denied ticket.
In his defence, Mr. Reddy says that the large population has a direct bearing on the development of the constituency. “It is not like no development has taken place. The underground drainage system has been completed, Cauvery water has reached the people and road development works have been approved,” he said.