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We’ll vote only if potable water is given, say voters

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DECIDING FACTOR: Clean water is the key to winning over voters in Bangalore Central Lok Sabha Constituency.
DECIDING FACTOR: Clean water is the key to winning over voters in Bangalore Central Lok Sabha Constituency.

Afshan Yasmeen

Bangalore Central electorate puts demand on the top of priority list

Bangalore: The elections to the 15th Lok Sabha have come in handy for the residents of the Bangalore Central Lok Sabha Constituency. They want an assurance on their demand for safe drinking water before they cast their vote.

Politicians, who will hit the campaign trail soon in the constituency, are bound to carry bottled water with them given the fact that elections are being held in peak summer. And the candidates and their campaigners in Bangalore Central have to compulsorily carry water bottles failing which they could land up with health problems given the high level of water contamination in most pockets of the constituency. Residents here have been dependant on tanker water supply and bottled water for long.

A majority of the residents have for decades suffered from water-borne ailments due to old water supply lines. People of the constituency want quality drinking water and this basic demand will top the list of priorities for voters in the elections. And, the citizens have categorically stated their vote is for the candidate who can assure them of safe drinking water.

The Bharatiya Janata Party announced its candidate for the seat ahead of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular).

P.C. Mohan of the BJP, who has launched a full-fledged campaign, told The Hindu that he supports the demands of the people.

“I promise to ensure access to safe drinking water for citizens of this constituency. It is a sincere promise and all the old water lines will be replaced with new ones at the earliest. I have represented Chickpet in the Legislative Assembly before and I know the problems of the people and I will try to get them resolved,” he added.

H.T. Sangliana, Congress candidate, said that utmost attention would be given to set this right. All attempts will be made to ensure that the people’s right of access to potable water is upheld.

Nasreen Khan, mother of five-year-old Ismail Khan, who was admitted to the Isolation Hospital during last year’s outbreak of gastroenteritis, said her choice of candidate would largely depend on who guaranteed safe drinking water for her family. M. Horee and his wife, G. Shakti, residents of 18th ‘A’ Main in HAL 2nd Stage, whose 10-year-old son H. Siddarth had fallen sick recently following water contamination, said they would want a representative who could take up the local issue of safe water on priority.

Contamination

Water contamination has been a frequent problem in areas such as Makaan Compound, Armstrong Road, Police Lane, Fruit Street, Todd Street and surrounding areas in Bharatinagar. The fate of residents of Ramchandrapuram, Srirampuram, Okalipuram, Shashtrinagar and Gopalpura in Gandhinagar is better untold.

Residents of Indiranagar East, Domlur 2nd Stage and Murphy Town in C.V. Raman Nagar, Richmond Town, Markham Road, Austin Town, Ashoknagar and Williams Town in Shantinagar suffer from the same problem. Jagjeevanramnagar, Hale Guddadahalli, Azadnagar, Rayapuram and Valmikinagar in Chamarajpet also face a similar problem.

Old and new areas

Bangalore Central is a mix of old and new areas. Comprising Gandhinagar, Rajajinagar, Chamarajpet, C.V. Raman Nagar, Sarvagnanagar, Shivajinagar, Shantinagar and Mahadevapura, this new Lok Sabha constituency has many areas where water lines were laid several decades ago.

Though officials of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) know that these lines are worn out and need to be changed, they are helpless as they do not have a master plan of the water and sanitary network in any of these areas. Thus, they only end up repairing the damaged pipes on an ad hoc basis.

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