Exclusive garden space turns major polluter

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Median under metro viaduct on C.M.H. Road is a garbage dump

DUMPING GROUND:Dust pollution, aggravated by the breeze and speeding vehicles, has become a major bugbear on C.M.H. Road.— PHOTO: HARINI SHIBARAYA
DUMPING GROUND:Dust pollution, aggravated by the breeze and speeding vehicles, has become a major bugbear on C.M.H. Road.— PHOTO: HARINI SHIBARAYA

A large swathe of Bangalore has been putting up with the inconveniences of Namma Metro’s construction, believing that once the trains are up and running, it will all be over. However, it looks like such optimism is misplaced if one observes what is happening on the stretch that is already operational.

Promises, promises

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) announced it had spent Rs.1 crore on a beautification drive, claiming that at least 150 saplings will be planted in each median stretch under the viaduct. However, the median on C.M.H. Road in Indiranagar is not only an eyesore but has become a major source of stress and pollution for residents, shopkeepers and road users.

The median has become a dumping ground for polythene bags, mattresses, tube lights, rotten food and tonnes of debris. Passersby find themselves coughing and choking and those parking on this stretch even for a few minutes find their vehicles covered with a thick patina of dust.

Dust everywhere

Such pollution, aggravated by the breeze and wind blown by passing vehicles, has become a major bugbear for everyone here. R. Roopa, who works at Ozone Corporation, said: “The condition of the median is worsening each day. No matter how much we clean our place, dust soon permeates everything and there is a thick layer of it everywhere.”

The several eateries on the busy road are worst hit. “As our restaurant is just off the main road, dust sweeps in all the time. We are constantly cleaning the place. Our customers feel suffocated as we have to keep the door closed all the time. The flies and mosquitoes from the garbage dumped in the median is another headache,” said T. Mohan, an employee of Just Mehfil.

Food parcels

K. Rajesh, a software engineer who is a loyal customer of the famous Iyengar Bakery, said he used to enjoy standing on the footpath and eating the goodies. “But I now get everything packed as the dust settles on the food.”

Pedestrians complain of breathing problems caused by the dust.

Anisha V., a student, said her eyes burn every time she has to pass the road. Being allergic to dust, she said it makes her cough all the time. Sakshi Ravindra, another student, rushes through the road covering her face.

Shopkeepers on this road had seen their businesses take a hit when Namma Metro’s construction was taken up here. Now, it looks as though it’s nightmare time for them all over again.

Passing the buck

Even as taxpaying citizens suffer, both the BMRCL and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike are dodging the problem, pointing fingers at each other. “We have started beautifying the medians on the M.G. Road stretch. We will progress towards C.M.H. Road,” a BMRCL spokesperson said, adding that it was people who were turning the medians into garbage dumps. “Unless everyone takes up responsibility, the problem cannot be solved.”

‘Their area’

The BBMP refused to take any responsibility saying it was the BMRCL’s baby. “We have received several complaints. However, BMRCL should look into the matter as it is their area of concern. The complaints have been transferred to BMRCL and we have requested them to look into the matter,” an official said.





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