BANGALORE: More than 54 washermen families, who depend on Hebbal Dhobi Ghat to wash clothes, have a reason to smile. They are happy with MLA Krishna Byregowda redressing their 25-year-old grievance. The washermen, who used to fetch water from an open well near the Rajakaluve for washing clothes, express gratitude to Byregowda for taking the initiative to construct the much needed building including the water tank at the dhobi ghat.
“The borewell and the water tank have made washing easier for the washermen. We are grateful to Byregowda for redressing our long-pending grievance. There was no option but to depend on an open well for water since it was tough for us to fetch water from the open well,’’ recalls K Ramesh, Secretary, Sri Veera Madiwala Machidevara Sangha.
It was learnt that more than Rs 20 lakh were spent to construct the water tank, building and also to dug up borewells at the dhobi ghat. The building and water tank were inaugurated by MLA Krishna Byregowda on February 27, 2011. Surprisingly, two among the three borewells failed to yield water despite the dhobi ghat being situated just a few metres away from Hebbal Lake. “The newly constructed building is a boon for us. We sufferered a lot during monsoon due to lack of a shelter at this dobhi ghat. Now, we are able to keep the dried clothes in the building as well as conduct monthly meetings to discuss the issues related to us,’’ said G Gangadhar, a member of the association.
However, the washermen want the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) authorities to concretise the ground at the dhobi ghat to avoid clothes getting dirty. “The ground is full of mud. On many occasions we have to wash the clothes once again when they fall on the ground from the clothes-line,’’ said a washerman.
The depth of water tank is also a cause of concern for washermen here. As of now, they are using hallow bricks to make it convenient for them to stand in the tank while washing clothes. “It will be convenient if the depth of the water tank is reduced by one-and-a-half feet. It will be easy for us to wash clothes if the water level in the tank is at waist level,’’ said Srinivas, Joint Secretary of the association.
The stink that emanates from the Rajakaluve is another cause of concern for washermen. “We have no problems in monsoon or winter but have to protect our nostrils in summer due to the stagnated sewage water in the Rajakaluve,’’ added Srinivas. He also maintained that the BBMP should take measures to provide washing machines and a drier to Hebbal dhobi ghat to be at par with other dhobi ghats.