As Chief Minister Siddaramaiah carried out his first city visit along with various civic body officials and elected representatives, commuters were left stranded en route as the traffic police were busy ensuring a signal-free corridor for the Chief Minister. Commuters had a harrowing time as the CM’s entourage comprising two buses and at least two dozen cars stopped at least for 20 minutes on Mysore Road, Nayandanahalli, HSR Layout, Koramangala, Shivananda Circle and other areas.
Burning the midnight oil
Roads without potholes and freshly-laid tarred roads? Which city could it be? Well, parts of Namma Bengaluru that Mr. Siddaramaiah visited on Saturday. Officials and workers of the civic body were on their toes on Friday night before Mr. Siddaramaiah’s visit. West of Chord Road and Park House Road on which motorists had to struggle across had a fresh coat of bitumen.
‘No RWH in my house’
When residents and civic body officials briefed Mr. Siddaramaiah about the water crisis in the city, he ordered officials to take suitable measures to ensure that rainwater harvesting (RWH) was installed in each house and commercial unit. When the officials claimed that the RWH process was in place, Mr. Siddaramaiah candidly admitted, “In my own house in Vijayanagar in Mysore, there is no RWH unit. Although it has been made mandatory, the implementation needs to be done more strictly.”
Throughout his half-day visit across the city, elected representatives and residents of the locality made sure that they conveyed their gratitude with garlands and bouquets. In constituencies represented by Congress legislators, apart from garlands, party workers also sported Congress badges and waved the party flag. In Vijayanagar and Govindarajnagar represented by father-son M. Krishnappa and Priya Krishna respectively, prominently-sized photos of Mr. Siddaramaiah were displayed.
During his stop at Agrahara lake, Bangalore South MP and BJP leader Ananth Kumar accompanied Mr. Siddaramaiah. Residents and retired officials complained that encroachments were a major challenge facing the development of the lake. When a reporter asked him about the status of the A.T. Ramaswamy Committee report and V. Balasubramaniam committee report, he said: “These reports have been submitted several years ago to the government. But the previous (BJP) governments have not touched the reports as it was probably a bisi bisi (hot) subject then. But our government will seriously look into the recommen dations of these reports.”
While briefing presspersons about the grade separator at Kittur Rani Chennama junction at Padmanabh anagar, Mr. Siddaramaiah was desperately trying to explain the location without letting slip his bête noire’s name, H.D. Deve Gowda. “The project will be implemented in Banashankari near a petroleum outlet.” When reporters probed the name of the petrol outlet, the Chief Minister, who saw reporters giggling, replied, “The petroleum outlet which is meant for the public to fill fuel.” The outlet is managed by the family of the former Prime Minister and JD (S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda, with whom he had a fallout leading to Mr. Siddaram aiah’s exit from the JD(S).