It is the last day to file nominations and also the day when a bomb went off outside the BJP office in Malleshwaram. Just after filing his nomination, Jayanagar MLA B N Vijaykumar sat down with Citizen Matters to give us his take on the constituency, its problems, his achievement and what he plans to do if elected again.
What were the main problems of the constituency?
One of the major problems was choked sanitary lines. Since Jayanagar is one of the old residential layouts in the city, the sanitary lines were 50 years old and couldn’t handle the increased population in the area. In the last five years, we have been able to replace 70-80% of them with newer and bigger lines which has improved the situation. The other major problems facing the constituency were the lack of quality playgrounds in the area as well as the state of the Jayanagar General hospital. We have redeveloped many of the playgrounds in and around Jayanagar. With procurement of new equipment for the hospital and steps to ensure efficiency, the scenario at the hospital is also now totally under control.
What are your other significant achievements?
We have introduced a number of new initiatives like rain water harvesting and banning the use of plastic. Apart from this, we have also replaced most of the big BESCOM transformers with single pole transformers making life easier for pedestrians. We have conducted coaching classes for around a thousand Class 10 students. We have also undertaken the construction of an e-library which will have 45 computers. It is now complete and will be open in June. It will be accessible to everyone and students can come do research work here. We have also completed fencing of public property worth Rs 150 crore and have utilised them to build parks, parking lots and bus stands.
How much funds have you managed to get for the constituency?
I have utilised all the money from the LAD funds and most of it has been capital investment for construction of multipurpose halls, schools and libraries. Apart from this, the government has funded three major works in the constituency. One is the redevelopment of the Jayanagar shopping complex, the second is the construction of the underpass at Puttenahalli and development of housing for slum dwellers near Ragigudda, Rajarajeshwari, Aarsu and Sarakki slums. We are building about 4000 houses of which 1500 houses have already been completed.
Even though the vegetable market in the Jayanagar shopping complex was gutted in the fire, it is still being used.
What are your plans for redevelopment of the market as well as the shopping complex?
We are redeveloping the market in two phases. In the first phase, four floors of a seven-storied building will be built in the place previously occupied by the Puttanna Kanagal theatre and vendors will be moved there. We will then demolish the existing market and rebuild. This will happen simultaneously with construction of the remaining three floors. The seven-storied building will have multi level parking and commercial space, which will bring in more revenue.
Over the years some areas of the constituency have seen more development work than others. What is the reason?
Places like Gurappanapalya are thickly populated with under-privileged people and is a revenue pocket. Thereby there are no good roads or any facilities there. After I got elected, the first thing I did was to replace the old sewer lines to the maximum extent possible, so now they don’t have that problem. We also started widening the roads and covering the drains in the area, so it is better now than it was earlier. But it takes time as we cannot demolish houses or take any such drastic steps, because the people living there are really poor. It’s the same case in Tilaknagar but the situation there is better than in Gurappanapalya.
Your take on G-Category sites?
People living outside Bangalore should not come and purchase land in Bangalore and build multi crore buildings inside Bangalore. We want to build smaller houses and give it to more people, instead of people building huge houses in large sites. A G Category site is 80 by 50, in which area we can build 20-30 small houses; instead, that space is now being given to one person. I’m completely against such allotment.
Any regrets about the things you were unable to achieve?
We wanted to move the sub registrar’s office which is on 12th Main in Jayanagar 4th Block to the Jayanagar shopping complex, so that we could free up that road, where there is heavy traffic now. But even after getting instructions from the Principal Secretary to vacate, they have refused to shift the office. This is mainly under pressure from brokers who operate there.
The second regret is that we wanted to have more organic waste convertors. As of now there is only one for the entire constituency, we want to have seven of them, one for each ward.
Why should the voters vote for you again?
I am easily available. I have regular interactions with resident welfare associations and all the major works undertaken in the constituency have been done only after consulting the residents. Every six months we organise an interaction with the resident welfare associations, senior citizens and interested residents, where we listen to their suggestions. We have also organised special public interactions with senior officials from Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation, BMTC, BBMP and the Traffic police. We had an interaction with Dr Shivkumar who is a scientist at IISC about Rain Water Harvesting. Apart from this we also organise Janaspandana program where people can air their grievances. I take my own calls and my office is open 12 hours a day and anyone can walk in with their problems.⊕