Jayanagar, a planned extension formed in 1948, was once known for its wide roads, well-laid footpaths and tree-lined boulevards.
Prominent old-time residents included the former President V.V. Giri and R.K. Ramadhyani, secretary to the first President, while centenarian lexicographer G. Venkatasubbaiah, Infosys mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath and octogenarian journalists S.V. Jayasheela Rao and C.M. Ramachandra still call the area home.
Jayanagar Assembly constituency was carved out of Basavanagudi Assembly constituency in 1978. Over the years, its wide roads, footpaths, boulevards and countless trees have been sacrificed in the name of “development”.
Today, the roads and footpaths of Jayanagar are narrow and some stretches have been encroached by vendors and traders.
Footpaths also double as parking spots and the authorities concerned don’t seem a bit concerned about it.
Those garbage heaps
Another problem is ineffective garbage clearance. Gowri Oza, a teacher and resident of Jayanagar 1st Block, said there are many spots where garbage is piled up all the time.
“The BBMP office is close by, but officials don’t seem to be bothered to clear the black spots.”
And the traffic!
Her other pet peeve is the traffic. With the increase in the number of vehicles on the roads, she said the traffic often moves at a snail’s pace. “With poor pedestrian infrastructure, there is no safety for us. Inadequate footpaths and bad streetlights pose a threat. Pedestrians are forced to walk on the roads braving the traffic.”
Jayagowri Shivakumar, professor at NMKRV College for Women, complained that with the lack of parking space, motorists often park haphazardly in front of the houses in the bylanes and crossroads. “Sometimes, we cannot take out our own vehicles, what with other vehicles parked right outside the gate.”
According to Mr. Ramachandra, crossing the roads is tough for senior citizens and young children.
“There are high medians between the Namma Metro piers on the stretch between South End Circle and Inner Ring Road. The boulevard on that stretch has been destroyed by the metro construction. It was earlier a delight for walkers. The authorities must restore the boulevard.”
The constituency, which is very cosmopolitan, has seven wards and a voter strength of 1.7 lakh.
The incumbent MLA B.N. Vijaykumar (BJP) is having another go at it, and is pitched against M.C. Venugopal, who heads the Other Backward Classes Cell in the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee.
The latter is confident of bagging the votes of OBCs, Dalits and Muslims while the former believes his “people-friendly” approach and development that he has spearheaded over the past five years will take him to the finish line first. Janata Dal (S) candidate Samiullah is banking on minorities’ votes.