Poor access to state healthcare and drinking water are the two major woes of the constituency
Starting from Jalahalli in northwest Bangalore, this constituency stretches all the way down to Rajarajeshwarinagar in the southwest, a distance of about 22 km. And, given its expanse, the issues and problems being faced by citizens here are assorted too.
An amalgam of prosperity and poverty, Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly constituency comprises some of the prominent landmarks of Bangalore — Rajarajeshwari Temple, Bangalore University, Bangalore Development Authority’s outer ring road flyover, Central Relief Centre (commonly known as Beggars’ Colony), Yeshwantpur Railway Station, Mathikere JP Park, to name a few. It has nine Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) wards, two of which were earlier part of BMP and the rest newly added ones.
While Rajarajeshwarinagar, Jnanabharathi, parts of Kottigepalya, Jalahalli, JP Park and Yeshwantpur wards have seen a fair amount of development, Lakshmidevinagar and Laggere remain highly underdeveloped.
Except for Rajarajeshwarinagar and part of Kottigepalya (Nagarabhavi), other wards mainly comprise revenue layouts, thereby witnessing haphazard development. Though the constituency houses good arterial roads including the outer ring road (ORR), the sub-arterial and small roads are in a shambles, with Cauvery water remaining elusive in many areas.
Healthcare is a casualty here as most residents are from poor and lower middle class families, according to H.S. Vishwanath, a software engineer. There are any number of private hospitals but very few can afford them, he pointed out.
K. Sriram, owner of an electric shop in Laggere village, said people have to go all the way either to Victoria or K.C. General Hospital, 15 km away, to access government healthcare. The administrators have been indifferent on this issue, Mr. Sriram lamented.
Mr. Vishwanath said though Rajarajeshwarinagar is well connected to eastern and southern Bangalore by public transport, few BMTC buses are available towards Nagarabhavi, Chandra Layout, Yelahanka and so on. Journey by bus to these areas takes four times as long as by private vehicles, he said.
Another grouse is lack of public spaces such as libraries and playgrounds. Mr. Vishwanath said he has been watching Rajarajeshwarinagar ward gradually being commercialised on the lines of Basavanagudi. As a result, roads are getting congested.
Kottigepalya resident Umesh L. Shastry, proprietor of Varna Mudrana, a printing enterprise, said upkeep of roads and clearing of garbage have been casualties in his locality. He said unscientific and unplanned development should be blamed for the mess. He commended the authorities for constructing the new ORR — from Magadi Road to Nayandahalli skirting Nagarabhavi — and said it has considerably eased traffic congestion on the old ORR.
With a major portion of the constituency skirting the polluted Vrishabhavati banks, clean underground water is scarce.
With private developers sparing not an inch of land on the river bank, residents are compelled to constantly inhale the stench from the dead river even as promises by the government to develop it on the lines of the Sabarmati in Gujarat remain on paper.