BENGALURU: Better known as the hub of Kannada film industry, Gandhinagar is the nucleus of Bengaluru with the City Railway Station, bus terminals and commercial establishments teeming with floating population. Food and Civil Supplies minister Dinesh Gundu Rao has turned this densely populated constituency into his own turf and a Congress bastion by winning here for the fourth time in the 2013 assembly election.
The Congress has maintained a vice-like grip on the constituency and has won six of the seven wards, while BJP had a consolation win in one ward. Though JD(S) is trying to get a toehold, it is proving to be a futile exercise as most of the wards are witnessing a straight fight between the Congress and BJP.
However, Congress is facing trouble from within in many wards due to rebellion from four former corporators who have been ignored while distributing tickets this time. T Mallesh, who had won from Subhash Nagar ward as Congress candidate in 2010, is contesting on the JD(S) ticket. His tirade against Dinesh has been an embarrassment for Rao and the party.
But Dinesh is confident of ensuring a clean sweep this time for the party as BJP is not a formidable force here. And he cites his department’s Anna Bhagya scheme, which has earned him the goodwill of the large slum population and labour class, as among the factors that could make it easy for the party.
Residents say they didn’t know who their corporator was but are happy that Dinesh Gundu Rao visited the wards frequently.
Civic woes are aplenty here. The main issue is irregular garbage disposal in interior areas, which is causing spread of diseases.
One of the oldest areas of Bengaluru, Chickpet still doesn’t have a park or a playground. Though Cottonpet has four parks, it doesnt have playgrounds. Gandhinagar boasts of 18 parks and 5 playgrounds, but they are badly maintained.
In areas like Subashnagar and Gandhinagar, security is a major concern. Residents say that anti-social elements in Cottonpet, Chickpet and Gandhinagar have made life hell for women.
During its tenure of five years, the BBMP council had allocated Rs 199.36 crore to all the seven wards. This is less compared to other constituencies such as Vijayanagar.
The money used for the basic infrastructure such as cleanliness and road works was too less. In Binnipet, residents have used construction debris to fill up the potholes.
Interestingly, the population has seen a decline in some wards, perhaps due to the unending civic problems and unberable congestion. In Chickpet, the population has decreased by 2.3 per cent. Likewise, in Gandhinagar, the population has fallen by 3.9 per cent and Dattatreya temple area by 2.5 percent. But in areas like Subash Nagar, the population has increased by 21.5 per cent.