BANGALORE: Lack of space to put up clothes lines, is the main problem for 70 washermen families, at Kempe Gowda Nagar dhobi ghat.
The dhobi ghat, established more than 70 years ago, needs immediate
attention of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) authorities. The lack of space has compelled the washermen to occupy footpaths to put up clothes lines.
The washermen want the BBMP authorities to
convince the forest
department to allow them to utilise the vacant space just opposite to the dhobi ghat. “We need only 200 ft long and 100 ft wide space to put up clothes lines for drying the clothes,’’ said Venkatachala, president, Sri Madiwala Janangada Kshemabhivrudhi Sangha.
The clothes put on the clothes lines are vulnerable to theft. There were occasions when some miscreants stole clothes. “I happened to see a woman picking a saree from the clothesline and put it in a bag. I followed her to some distance and caught her. Many of us wanted to hand her to the police but I allowed her to go home on humanitarian grounds. I gave her a warning not to repeat it in future,’’ said Venkatachala.
Some of the washermen live at the quarters
constructed adjacent to the dhobi ghat. They said that the Slum Clearance Board has agreed to demolish the existing quarters and
construct new ones
A small community hall, with a capacity of 50 people, was constructed with MP Fund, eight years ago. “It is too small to accommodate people. We need a community hall bigger than the existing one to organise functions,’’ said a washermen.
The open drain adjacent to the compound wall of the dhobi ghat has become a nuisance for washermen. They said that stagnated water has become a breeding place for mosquitoes. “We have been requesting the BBMP authorities to take measures to cover the open drain with concrete slabs. It has become difficult to cope with mosquito menace in morning and evening,’’ said M Mala, a washerwoman.
The BBMP authorities have constructed a shed with asbestos sheets. However, the height is not as per the requirement. “There is no power connection here. We have to depend on the street lights that are being put off at 6 am every day. We want the BBMP or BESCOM authorities to provide power connection to prevent inconvenience,’’ said Mala.
Will the BBMP authorities do the needful? Washermen have to wait and watch.