Bengaluru: For the residents of Narayanpura in Whitefield, the struggle for a motorable road has been going on for eight long years, despite spending money from their own pockets.
In spite of repeated assurances from successive governments and civic authorities the road continues to be in a pitiable condition.
In 2010, the residents of Narayanpura spent Rs 43 lakh in a PPP model to construct the road, but the ad hoc digging by BBMP and BWSSB and failure to undertake restoration work has made the road a motorist’s nightmare.
The residents allege that with zero follow-ups from the civic agencies, they are suffering as even ambulances do not turn up in the area.
Minku Buttar, a resident, said pregnant women, school children and senior citizens bear the brunt because school bus, cab and ambulance drivers refuse to drive on non-existent roads.
“The BBMP engineer said on the national TV that the work on the Narayanpura road will start soon, but apart from some hogwash of road levelling nothing substantial has been done,” she said and remarked “No Roads, No Votes”.
Even a minor shower turns the area into a cesspool and the residents allege that though the BWSSB has claimed of setting up Cauvery water lines, there are no water inlet options for communities to use water.
Radhakrishnan, a resident of Narayanpura since 2008, lamented that wait to see a proper motorable road has been a very long one.
“The BBMP has done a very shoddy patch work on the road. We do not even have storm water drains (SWD). It is been more than a year since we were promised that roads would be constructed,” he said.
The residents recently took part in ‘pothole Diwali’ aimed at drawing the attention of BBMP. In most localities, the usual complaints are of lack of
coordination between BBMP and BWSSB, with the latter abdicating its responsibility of removing the debris after laying pipes.
“Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George knows the situation as he had crossed the area himself. Complaints have been falling on deaf ears and nothing is been done to improve the miserable condition of the road,“ said Ramani, a senior citizen and a resident.
Q&A with corporator S. Uday Kumar
Roads in Narayanpura are in a bad condition for over eight years now. What are you doing?
The property is under litigation for over eigtht years now. The road belongs to six private land owners. Four out of six owners have taken Rs 10 lakh compensation to relinquish the land to the BBMP, while two have not agreed to give up their land. These two land owners have bought a stay order from the court. We can't develop the road unless the issue is settled.
Are you facing a fund crunch?
No, there is no shortage of funds. Unless the two owners agree to clear the land, we cannot develop the roads at all.
The residents are angry and have sent out a warning saying, ‘No roads, No Votes’. What will you do?
I know that they are angry, but they should understand that my hands are tied too. I have tried to make them understand, but they don’t listen. The problems has persisted for the last eight years and it is really a long time. Right now, we only have to wait for the court to pass an order.