Fix Roads & Water Supply Or We’ll Vote NOTA: Bengaluru Residents
In India’s IT capital – Bengaluru, residents do not have the luxury of enjoying family time or engage in leisure activities on weekends. Instead, they are forced to step out of their homes to protest for basic amenities.
Residents from 28 Resident Welfare Associations took to the streets in protest due to the treatment meted out to them by the elected representatives. Resident activists of the nearby areas also participated in the human chain in solidarity.
The protesters demanded the construction of an alternate arterial road to connect Kasavanahalli road, proper and effective road signage to prevent accidents, and also brisk work on the underground drainage system.
Kasavanahalli acts as a passage for connectivity between Electronic City and Wipro Park, ITPL, and Outer Ring Road. As a result, the area sees a large number of floating population. Protesters feel that due to this, the budgetary allocation given to Bellandur ward is insufficient, due to which the infrastructure is crumbling.
Frustrated residents carried placards that stated that they have no other choice but to vote for NOTA in the upcoming elections.
Vishnu Prasad, a founding member of Kasavanahalli Development Forum (KDF), an umbrella organisation of these 28 RWAs, said:
We don’t see many options open. We have tried every other alternative possible before resorting to forming the peaceful human chain. If we go to the MLA, he says his party is not in power so he can’t help. The primary opposition is even worse. He can’t even be reached. So we are now forced to consider fielding someone of our own in the coming elections to put pressure on the political class.
We are apolitical protesters. Our MLA, corporator are from BJP, the state government is of Congress, but we are not getting anything from them. All of us are angry. School children are also not left out of this. They take one hour to go to the nearby school. There is a traffic jam on Jail Road all the time as it is the only road. All the government’s spending seems to be concentrated in Central Business Districts, which is at the cost of these areas.Rohin, another protester
He also suggested that if things do not move in the right direction, residents will intensify protests. They also alleged that the state government has neglected the area and has not provided enough buses, due to which the people have to rely on private transport.
The protests held on Saturday were sparked due to the alleged consistent inaction by area MLA Aravind Limbavali (former minister), corporator Asha Suresh and also the state government.
Protesters said that no short-term or long-term initiatives were taken even after citizen representatives held a meeting with both Arvind and Asha on 24 February.
In a media statement, the KDF said that life was not only becoming very difficult due to government apathy, but was also proving lethal.
They said the recent two dengue casualties in the locality were only due to the lack of basic sanitation. They also pointed out pedestrian deaths could have been averted if there were proper pavements.
Arvind Limbavalli and Asha Suresh could not be reached for comment.
(The story was first published on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)