KARNATAKA ASSEMBLY POLLS Bengaluru

Rudderless and desperate for leadership

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Potholed roads, erratic electric supply, garbage on street corners, residents living alongside open sewage drains… the misery seems endless. Welcome to one of Asia’s largest industrial hub — the Peenya Industrial estate, a part of Dasarahalli Assembly constituency.

Peenya, along the swanky smooth National Highway 4, is the one-stop solution for manufactured goods — be it a screw or state-of-the-art aerospace equipment. The constituency, housing scores of garment factories, plastic industries besides engineering companies, has been home for migrants from across the country.

Residents point out that staying here comes at a price. Pointing to an open sewage flowing outside her house in Chokkasandra ward, Savita K. (36) said: “We are surrounded by sewage and garbage from factories nearby.”

As she makes her way through the garbage to buy water that costs Rs. 3 a pot, she says: “We manage to survive by buying four to five pots of water every day. We get Cauvery water only once a week. If we are lucky, on some days, the waterman opens the tap for us to have our fill. Those days we try and fill as many buckets as possible. ”

While some residents argue that industrial areas are pampered, others say their political representatives have not paid much attention to them as industrialists are not part of the vote bank.

Harish Hegde, former president of the Peenya Industrial Association, said: “More than three decades ago several industries came up in this area. But now they are languishing as people in power are not sustaining the development.”

He pointed out that there was an urgent need to evolve an efficient sanitation as well as a waste disposal mechanism.

Residents also complain about uneven development. “While roads in wards such as Rajagopalnagar and T. Dasarahalli represented by BJP corporators have been developed, infrastructure in wards such as Chokkasandra and the Peenya Industrial Area have not been given any attention,” said Rajat Kumar, a resident.

Four-cornered fight

After winning the 2008 Assembly polls by a margin of 22,155 votes, S. Muniraju, sitting BJP legislator who is an accused in two cases before the Lokayukta court, is likely to face tough competition from B.L. Shankar, former Chairman of the Legislative Council and vice president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. Apart from these two, B. Andanappa, JD (S) candidate and the current Hegganahalli councillor M.B. Govinde Gowda, who is contesting from Dasarahalli as an Independent, are also in the fray.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2017 11:35:50 AM | http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/rudderless-and-desperate-for-leadership/article4651398.ece