BANGALORE: The lack of space and the skyrocketing cost of land price in and around Attur had compelled Corporator Dr Geetha Shashikumar and MLA Vishwanath to facilitate forming of a dhobi ghat at a burial ground in Attur.
Around 50 washermen families from Housing Board, Attur Fourth and Fifth Phases, Seegenayakanahalli, Geddalahalli andMavallipura depend on this dhobi ghat for their livelihood. The washermen express gratitude to Corporator Dr Geetha Shashikumar and MLA Vishwanath for sanctioning the space around 18 months ago. It was said that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had spent around Rs 10 lakh for the construction of two water tanks and a borewell for washing clothes.
However, the washermen find it difficult to use the dhobi ghat for washing clothes. They complain that BBMP authorities had forgotten to provide stone slabs to wash clothes. “The borewell water is being supplied to other areas. We are not getting sufficient water for washing. Because of this, we have to wash clothes in the water tanks. At other dhobi ghats, washermen wash clothes on the stone slabs put up around the water tanks,’’ said C Nanjappa, president, Madivala Machidevara Sangha to City Express.
Earlier, the washermen had to deal with Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) staff who used to fetch water from the same borewell. They said that the villagers chide them for using the dhobi ghat. “Whenever people bring a dead body for burial, we have to bear the brunt of their anger. They use filthy language and try to beat us for using the dhobi ghat. They say that the place is a burial ground,’’ said a washerman. There is no place, except a small asbestos shed, for washermen to house the clothes. The space is insufficient to install clotheslines.
“We have been requesting the Corporator Dr Geetha Shashikumar and the MLA Vishwanath to construct a compound wall around the dhobi ghat but in vain,’’ said Nanjappa.
Meanwhile, Dr Geetha Shashikumar made it clear that the place belongs to a burial ground. “We have made a provision for the dhobi ghat at the burial ground on humanitarian grounds. The villagers have been using this place for burying bodies for the last 70 years. We have to discuss the issue with the villagers before taking up any further development work at the dhobi ghat. The villagers are not in favour of the dhobi ghat,’’ confirmed Dr Geetha Shashikumar to the City Express.