KARNATAKA

Bad roads, bane of Byatarayanapura

BANGALORE NOV. 24. The Bangalore-Bellary Road, which passes through this City Municipal Council (CMC), and an unmanned Railway Crossing, are the menaces that frustrate the residents, who are putting up with bad roads, clogged drains, and inadequate drinking water supply.

This two-lane highway, which connects Bangalore with Doddaballapur and Hindupur, has been a nightmare for the residents of Byatarayanapura. Although the highway has been brought under the Prime Minister's Golden Quadrangle Project from Yelahanka onwards, the portion in Byatarayanapura is unable to bear the traffic.

The level-crossing connecting Lottegollahalli-Kodigehalli Main Road with Doddabommasandra and Vidyaranyapura has witnessed three accidents, resulting in three deaths in the last three years. A number of pleas with the railway authorities to erect a gate at the Crossing have not been considered still.

Spread on either side of the Bangalore-Bellary Road, Byatarayanapura, like any other developing CMCs, is plagued with a number of problems. The CMC comprises 31 wards and the population has crossed 3.5 lakh. A number of new residential layouts have been and are being formed in CMC limits, along with old habitations, such as Kodigehalli, Amrutahalli, Byatarayanapura, Vidyaranyapura, and so on.

Encroachment of main roads by commercial and residential buildings has been the main problem in many of the places, while existing roads in old habitations have not been widened. This is the common feature that one finds in Kodigehalli, Vidyaranyapura, Lottegollahalli, and Amrutahalli.

The Vidyaranyapura Main Road is a good example of such encroachments where traffic comes to a standstill during peak hours.

This is an important road as it connects Vidyaranyapura and surrounding areas with BEL Road and Mathikere. As the roads passing through these localities are used by residents of new layouts, traffic jams are frequent, the residents complained.

Similar is the case of open drains, which are rarely cleaned and cleared, says Kempanna, a resident of Kodigehalli.

They are filled with silt and vegetation, preventing free flow of wastewater, he says. Like any other CMC, this CMC does not have underground drainage (UGD) system.

Drinking water supply is also inadequate, as a number of borewells have gone dry, the residents complain.

Despite collecting betterment fee and property tax, the CMC has failed to deliver the goods. While a majority of the existing main roads are full of potholes, those in new layouts are yet to see asphalting, according to the residents.

The CMC had withdrawn around Rs. 40 crore from the State Government towards its share of stamp duty. The Lokayukta, after a raid on the CMC, found serious irregularities in works executed and funds utilised.

Meanwhile, the Lokayukta police on Wednesday raided the house of the then Commissioner of the CMC (presently under suspension) and unearthed properties worth Rs. two crore.

But there is good news for the residents, according to the CMC President, S.Srinivasa Raju. When contacted, Mr. Raju told The Hindu that the BWSSB had agreed to provide Cauvery water as well as UGD system for the residents of the CMC. But every household should pay Rs. 7,000 in this regard.

As far as the widening of roads was concerned, he pleaded paucity of funds. Regarding asphalting of roads in new layouts, Mr. Raju said asphalting would be taken up depending on the number of houses that had come up in the respective layouts.