The irony of Washermen in Krishnarajapuram and its surrounding areas is that there is no premises for a dhobi ghat. Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had spent crores of rupees to improve the basic infrastructure, however, it has forgotten to make a provision for a dhobi ghat itself.
There are around 500 washermen families at Krishnarajapuram, Devasandra and other areas. These families, who earn their livelihood by washing clothes, are forced to go to Basavanapura Lake and to the near by quarries for washing clothes in monsoon. “Many of us have to use water at quarry pits during monsoon,’’ said K N Krishnappa, president, Sri Madivala Machaiah Welfare Association. The washermen have to use water at Seegehalli Lake for washing clothes. And whenever there is a shortage of water at Seegehalli Lake, the washermen are bound to go to Yelemallappana Lake, near Avalahalli, especially during summer. “The lake is more than six km’s away from Krishnarajapuram. Most of us have to struggle a lot to carry the clothes to Yelemallappana Lake,’’ said Krishnappa.
There will be no shortage of water at Yelemallappana Lake during summer, but many people hesitate to give clothes to washermen, since the water is polluted. “Software engineers and hotel managements refuse to give clothes for washing. They don’t want their clothes to be washed in polluted water. Many people think that water in the lake is polluted due to a pharmaceutical company,’’ narrates Krishnappa.
The washermen complain about politics playing the spoilsport. They said that they have organised protests on a number of occasions during the last 20 years but in vain. It was reported that permission was given to wash clothes at Vengayyana Lake but irrigation department objected to it. Again there was a proposal to allot the land near railway level cross at Devasandra but it was again cancelled for reasons unkown. Later one-and-half acre was allotted at Seegehalli , but it was cancelled once again. Now, Sri Madivala Machaiah Welfare Association has sent a proposal to the BBMP to allot land at Basavanapura for dhobi ghat.
Expressing disappointment over the negligence of politicians and BBMP authorities, P Devaraj, Secretary of the association, said that he wanted the authorities concerned to take measures to establish a dhobi ghat for the benefit of hundreds of washermen who have been struggling a lot due to lack of a dhobi ghat. “I request them to do the needful as early as possible,’’ said Devaraj.