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'Give us clean air, or gas masks'

Published: 08th June 2013 08:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th June 2013 08:42 AM   |  A+A-

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“With the increase in the number of vehicles in Bangalore, it is a miracle that we are still breathing. If you cannot rectify the problem, give us gas masks”, freedom fighter H S Doreswamy told elected representatives here on Friday. He was speaking at a programme organised by the Namma Bengaluru Foundation to felicitate city MLAs.

Taking the elected representatives to task, Doreswamy said the city’s traffic is out of control. “We are inhaling poisonous air. Give us gas masks for free”, he said. “Crores of rupees have been spent on the city’s development every year. But how much of it has been really spent on the poor who reside in large numbers within the city”, he questioned.

He pointed out that at Gandhi Bazaar and Malleshwaram, poor vendors were told to vacate the place. “They were not asking for money from anyone. In fact, they were paying bribes to the police. A hawkers’ zone must be earmarked in each layout for them. Give them an opportunity to lead a decent life”, he said.

Speaking on the garbage disposal problem, Doreswamy said BBMP authorities claim the problem has been resolved. But again, at some point, people in villages where landfills are located will protest against this, he said. “Is this a drama?”, he asked adding that there is a need for a permanent solution. “Look for a landfill where people do not stay. Do not pollute the place. If you do not solve this problem, it will keep coming back”, he said.

Stressing on the need to provide job opportunities to Kannadigas, Doreswamy said there is a need to reserve jobs for Kannadigas in private, government and semi-government organisations. “They are not begging for jobs. It is their right. Pass an act or rule to reserve jobs for them. Though successive governments have agreed to implement a rule, it has never been followed up”, he said.

Doreswamy further said the government should have some sense in giving permission for mining activities. “Many hills have been ruined in the name of mining. If they clear all these hills, what will you give to the next generation?” he asked. He also said many lakes and land in and around Bangalore have been encroached. “Rectify your mistakes at least now,” he urged the MLAs. He also told them not to constitute any committee to look into encroachments. “It is just a waste of time and money. Instead, punish the people who are behind encroachments”, he stressed.

Speaking on the BBMP, he questioned the move of the state government to include 110 villages and make the city corporation bigger. “When you are not able to provide basic amenities to the people residing in these villages, why did you add them?” he questioned.

As many as 15 City MLAs were present.

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