VIDYARANYAPURA: The residents of Vidyaranyapura took out a protest about the condition of the Dodda Bommasandra Road which has been dug up for Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) works.
The residents claim that their protest follows a series of complaints to the authorities who have been evading either giving a deadline or sticking to it. Currently, where the road curves near the Pete Siddappa Circle, there is no asphalt.
“I have observed a lot of two-wheelers, especially with women riders, and even some four-wheelers skidding there,” says Shaila Prabhu, a resident who is involved with the Footpath PIL group fighting for ‘walk-able’ pavements.
Naveen Krishnaswamy, another resident who runs an entertainment business, says that an acquaintance slipped and fell along the same stretch about a week ago. “They’ve put jelly stones (building material) to fill up the potholes. She fractured her arm as she fell on it,” he says.
Other residents rue that the constant vehicle break down — often BMTC buses that ply that way — makes the traffic jams that they have to drive through all the more harrowing.
“Most of us here have day jobs, and commuting on the 2-km stretch has become a major hassle. It takes us 25-30 minutes,” adds Naveen. According to him, a road-widening project has been in the pipeline for over 10 years now.
Suresh Babu, a businessman who has lived in the locality for 30 years, says that he and a group of other residents have been talking to the councillor as well as the MLA about widening the road. “From what I know it’s been that way for about four years now and that is because residents feel the compensation they have been offered is too low,” he says. So according to him, a long-term solution would be to offer higher rates of compensation.
Corporator of Dodda Bommasandra (Ward 10), M E Pillappa, tells City Express that he too had protested about the condition of the road a fortnight ago. “Apparently, there was some problem with the contractor, but after the protest the BWSSB has assured us that work will go on at night and will be finished soon. But it’s a busy road, so work can’t go on during the day. It’ll have to happen between 11 pm and 5 am,” he says. It was at the residents’ insistence that he requested the BWSSB to lay the sanitary lines, he adds. “Now, it’s causing problems for all of us, so I’ve asked them to finish up quickly.”
The residents say that they had been told that the work would be completed by January 16. “And since that didn’t happen, we decided to hold a protest on Saturday,” Naveen says. However, assistant executive engineer for the area, B C Gangangadhar, who is overseeing the project, says that the work is likely to be completed by the end of the month. On the delay, he says, “We were told that the MD of the construction company passed away recently, hence the hold up.”