Improvement of the city as recorded in the Mysore Gazetteer edited by C. Hayavadhana Rao provides interesting details as to how the authorities of those days – between 1880s and 1920s – went about decongesting Mysore.
While the creation of the City Improvement Trust Board (CITB) in 1904 gave a greater impetus to the process, it was preceded by the establishment of a Sanitary Division during the period of Dewan Seshadri Iyer.
This was followed by filling of the Purnaiah Canal , establishment of sewerage through a system of underground pipes at the Palace; diversion of sewage of Laskhar and Mandi Mohalla; and laying of main pipe to channelise sewage flow from Devaraja Mohalla and Krishnaraja Mohalla, among others.
The authorities also created facilities for piped drinking water from the Kukkarahalli lake and subsequently from the Cauvery, all of which enhanced the general ambience of Mysore, according to the Mysore Gazetteer.
In 1903, the City of Mysore Improvement Regulation III was passed and narrow lanes and insanitary areas were widened or removed, and conservancy lanes created.
Steps were taken to demolish poorly ventilated houses while new extensions were formed to rehabilitate the displaced population. New extensions like Jalapuri and Idga were formed, as also Lakshmipuram.
The Gazetteer also notes with concern the absence of any regard for alignment during construction that culminated in ill-ventilated areas and poor living conditions. Almost 100 years later, the city without any regulation of growth and construction seem to be sliding back in time.