BENGALURU : After many shops on Church Street faced closure and a dip in business with a badly managed road relaying work, another city hub is facing the same trouble. Lanes in Koramangala 5th and 6th blocks are being dug up for relaying of sewage lines, and this is slowing down traffic and leaving boulders that makes walking on sidewalks impossible.
Commercial establishments such as restaurants and pubs are seeing fewer customers, and residents say that this work by Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has made the whole neighbourhood dusty and damaged their water and electricity connections. “Residents are planning to run away,” says Neha Sharma (name changed). “In 30 years of residing in Koramangala, this is the first time we are seeing this kind of work being done. It is torture,” says Neha.
The work of replacing 6-inch sewage pipe with a new 9-inch ones started two months ago. However, what was suppose to be a short-term project was prolonged by the rains leaving the residents even more furious. They brought this up with their local corporator M Chandrappa, who has assured them that all will be well soon.
BWSSB official leading the project in the locality says that new pipes will be laid in another 10 days. And corporator of Koramangala Chandrappa says the entire area will be “neat and perfect” in another 15 days, which would mean that the city corporation would pave all the roads in five days.
According to corporator Chandrappa, this is part of relaying a whole new sewage system in Koramangala for Rs 40 crore. The next phase of this will be in Koramangala 7th Block.
While BBMP and BWSSB assures that the work will be completed in the next 15 days, workers say they there will be delays because vehicles have been parked along the roads and because they need to take extra care since the water lines runs close to electricity lines.
Customers climb over mounds of debris
Building number 146 in Koramangala 5th Block hosts a number of popular pubs and restaurants. Corner House, a popular ice-cream outlet, which is on the underground floor of the building is almost hidden behind a mound of mud and concrete. Pubs on the building have witnessed a 20 per cent decline in their business in the last 45 days. “Our loyal customers who come here joke saying they need to receive a medal for tackling the roads and mounting the mud,” says owner of a bar, on condition of anonymity. “People refuse to sit in the balcony area because of all the dust”.
Another pub owner says that they were initially told the work would be over within ten days and now it has been 45 days. “Boulders were dug out during the work and the workers simply left them here for days,” he adds. On 60 Feet Road Koramanagala is a newly opened restaurant called Happy Plate, which was gaining popularity. “Just when our business peaked, the road in front was dug up,” says Lokesh, operational manager of the restaurant. “The customers have stopped coming here now, because it is easier easy to eat somewhere else,” Lokesh sighs.
Hemmed in and choked, say residents
“Water pipes have been damaged and few houses have not been receiving water and electricity for two days,” says Sandhya (name changed). “The workers say that the contract was to lay the pipe and that we have to pay to get a connection to our homes. Each house is paying `3,000 to get a new connection,” Sandhya adds. Residents say that they feel trapped as three different projects are being done around them.
“The flyover project is going on at Sony Signal and there is this sewage one right outside our door, and there are other projects being done on main roads… we feel trapped,” says another resident of 17 D. Auto drivers are unhappy that some of the prime pickup locations are blocked such as the short-cut through 8th Block which connects this locality to Vivek Nagar Post Office.