They are spreading rumours only to avoid it opposite their houses: councillor

A segregation point has become a bone of contention between the residents of Jayanagar III Block and the local councillor. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is constructing a segregation point within the swimming pool compound here, much to the displeasure of the residents.

While the residents cited health hazards for opposing the project, councillor N. Nagaraju, who is also the Ruling Party Leader in the BBMP council, maintained that certain residents, including the agency maintaining the pool, were spreading rumours only to avoid the segregation point opposite their houses.

On Sunday, over 50 residents gathered at the swimming pool and staged a protest. They raised slogans and demanded that the work be stopped immediately. Instead of putting up a structure in the pool compound, they demanded that the BBMP plant saplings and maintain greenery in the area.

Dismissing their claims, Mr. Nagaraju told The Hindu that the BBMP was contemplating cancelling the lease given to the agency. The 35-year lease, he said, was signed 10 years ago. “The agency claimed that it would develop the pool and improve infrastructure. Even after a decade, the agency has not changed floor tiles. The residents who use the pool complain routinely about poor maintenance,” he said.

He alleged that the agency was trying to incite the residents as the management wanted to utilise the space to construct a gym. He added that the BBMP would take a call on changing the terms of the lease and assume ownership of the land where the segregation point has been proposed.

Meanwhile, the residents sought to know why the sanctioned plan was not made public. They demanded suspension of the executive engineer and the assistant executive engineer who had sanctioned the plan for the proposed segregation point. They claimed that to put up any structure in public places, the civic body must secure a no objection certificate from residents.

Manjunath D.L., a resident, alleged that the BBMP had felled six trees without permission from the Forest Department. “The proposed segregation centre is close to a school where nearly 1,000 children study, not to mention, a park, a playground, swimming pool that is within the compound and residences. While we support the BBMP’s initiatives to scientifically manage municipal waste, the civic body must shift it to another location that is isolated and will not affect the citizens,” he said.

Retired geologist and resident K.S. Parameshwar said that the proposed structure would block light and air. The structure would also block the view of motorists going towards the playground from the swimming pool side. Another resident Yamini Khandekar said that the location chosen by the BBMP was not an appropriate one. “The BBMP must choose an isolated location,” she added.

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