Potholes, jams: IT lot can't tech' it

Once non-existent on the map of Bengaluru, Yelahanka is a familiar name for anyone making a trip to the international airport now.

Bengaluru: Yelahanka, the gateway to the IT City, is bustling with activity and it’s not because of the realty sector or the traffic zipping through its middle to the Bengaluru international airport. This time, it’s the battle between the BJP and the Congress for the minds of voters in a prestigious constituency which has grown in leaps and bounds in recent decades, that has made it come alive

Once non-existent on the map of Bengaluru, Yelahanka is a familiar name for anyone making a trip to the international airport now. It’s scope for rapid development can be gauged from the fact that it’s a prime real estate hub next only to Bengaluru, thanks to its vast undeveloped areas and proximity to the airport.

The positive aspects of the constituency end here. Yelahanka with four BBMP wards, is a small constituency but has many problems which are yet to be addressed. The ever-increasing traffic on the already congested roads, illegal dumping of garbage, clogged stormwater drains, and pavement encroachments, are making the lives of residents miserable. The sewage flowing into the Yelahanka lake from Karnataka Milk Federation, and from the residences of gated communities, is polluting not only the lake but also nearby lakes adding to the misery of people living nearby.

When DC spoke to voters to get a first-hand experience of the problems they face, Ravi Kumar, a resident of Attur, said a major issue was drinking water shortage while others were clogged drain and the bad condition of roads. “The digging of roads to lay drinking water pipelines or to repair drain water pipes has become a regular feature here and has affected the lives of many. This is because of failed planning and nothing else,” he said.

When it comes to the politics of the constituency, voters seem to be equally divided with some profusely praising sitting BJP MLA S.R. Vishwanath for his dedication and commitment to his constituency and others lamenting that he could have done much more. “Yelahanka has improved a lot under Vishwanath. Many developmental works have been taken up including drinking water facilities, asphalting of roads and segregation of waste,” said Santosh, a resident of Kempegowda ward.

It’s no doubt a direct battle between the BJP MLA Vishwanath and Congress candidate M.N. Gopala Krishna in Yelahanka which has 3,74,036 voters this time as against 2,75,875 in 2013. Gopala Krishna had come third in the previous election and is leaving no stone unturned to ensure he makes up for the loss.

He had a vote share of only 26.7 percent in 2013-even lesser than JD(S) candidate B Chandrappa (29.12%). He may get more votes this time considering the fact that his close competitor Chandrappa has now joined the Congress while the new JD(S) candidate Hanumanthe Gowda is considered an outsider to the constituency. Gopala Krishna will thus be able to avoid a divide in the secular vote but will this be enough to defeat Vishwanath, considered a formidable foe, is the moot question.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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