It’s the season of protests as citizens, fed up with the poor quality of life and infrastructure, organised marches to grab the attention of elected representatives and officials of various agencies. On Saturday, as many as 4,000 residents from Haraluru, Silver County Road, Kudlu, Somasundrapalya, Mangamannapalya and HSR Layout Sector 2 marched the 4 km stretch along Haraluru Main Road to protest the pathetic condition of roads, traffic jams, absence of footpaths, poor garbage collection and lack of other amenities.
They came together under the banner, ‘Fight4Right: Citizens March Against Civic Apathy’. After the march, they formed a human chain on Sarjapur Road. People of all ages and from all walks of life, armed with placards, shouted slogans against elected representatives and civic officials for failing to deliver on numerous promises. They were dressed in white and sported black ribbons to symbolise a peaceful protest.
They decided to take a leaf out of the recent Mahadevapura protests that spurred the authorities into action. “But what about us? Our neighbourhoods have turned into a living nightmare, especially for children and senior citizens who face the brunt of bad roads, lack of footpaths, open manholes, sewage overflow and uncollected garbage,” said Ramakrishna Reddy, one of the organisers of the march and president of the Haraluru Somasundarapalya Residents’ Association.
Their problems echoed those raised by activists and Residents’ Welfare Associations during the Mahadevapura protest. “Residents of more than 1,200 apartment buildings are affected. We have been hearing of road extension plans for the past six years, but no changes have been made,” said Pronoy Bhattacharjee, a member of the G.K. Golden City Association.
‘One hour to cover 4 km’
Renuka K., a resident of Silver County Road, said that residents had been using various social media platforms to address their grievances and also used the BBMP Sahaaya app to register their complaints but no action was taken. “School buses are stuck in traffic and children reach schools late. It’s stressful during examinations. New apartments get approvals every year but there are no efforts being made to improve infrastructure,” she said
Ihit Mishra, a resident of Haraluru, said it takes him an hour to travel four kilometres to reach his school. “The roads are so bad that we are afraid to sit on the back seat of the school bus. Those who sit there have to hold on to the seat even if if the bus is moving slowly,” he said.