Chickpet: Big scams; little improvement

Chickpet constituency, carved out during delimitation from parts of Basavanagudi, Chamarajpet and Jayanagar, is one of oldest business districts in Bangalore, home to thriving market places frequented by thousands. Yet, even as it is possibly one of the highest contributing areas to the state exchequer, the area is plagued by archaic civic problems, as well as others that are brought upon by the conflict between commercial interests and residential living. From choked roads, traffic bottlenecks and lack of parking spaces to choked drains, garbage problems, pollution and sanitation woes, the constituency seems to be crying out for an overhaul.

Key Issues of the constituency

 

Key issues range from the pressing and local- traffic, congestion, drainage, sanitation, affordable housing, public spaces and water- to the more global, including FDI in retail and the destruction of small businesses.

Traffic and access top that list. Congestion in the entire City Market area is abysmal, with no footpaths for pedestrians that have not already been claimed by vendors. This includes Avenue Road, BVK Iyengar Road, and the areas around Mamulpet, Sultanpet, Kalasipalya and Dharmarayaswamy Temple. While residents claim that vendors are responsible for access and parking issues, vendors complain that it is the lack of both that are driving the customers away, despite the competitive prices offered. Pedestrians are forced to face vehicular traffic head on, with no pedestrian crossings.

Chickpete inherits an ancient drainage system, with its blocked and leaking sewerage lines. Sudhamanagar’s open drains have posed a serious health risk to residents in the area, while the footpaths from Basappa Circle towards Shivananda Circle are built on the open drains. Arcot Srinivasachar Street, an arterial road that connects the major markets, is witness to open drainage and indiscriminate dumping of garbage.

Public toilets in the Arumugam Mudaliar Road in Kalasipalya, constructed in 1994, have been encroached upon by local goons who have turned the public property into private parking lots, threatening to kill the ward councillor who had attempted to reconstruct the facilities.

Other issues include illegal construction, water contamination and an impending water shortage.

Scams and electoral issues:

Chickpet also saw a 400-crore fraud surface in the award and non-completion of civic projects since 2008, with the active collusion of contractors and corporators. The projects included remodelling of drains near K R Market and construction of Avenue Road, with the bills cleared hastily without the necessary clearances, while there is no evident progress on the ground.

In March 2013, Bangalore Mayor PR Ramesh accused the BJP of deleting a huge number of voters from the Chickpet Constituency electoral register, tilting last year’s BBMP poll in its favour. He said that while voters in all the seven BBMP wards as present during the 2010 BBMP elections totalled 2,33,533, the rolls published by the Chief Electoral Officer in January 2013 contained only 1,70,529 voters. He alleged that either bogus votes were added for political gain, or people have been deprived of their right to vote in the more recent version.

Chickpet also saw a major 400-crore fraud surface, “allegedly perpetrated in civic projects in Chickpet assembly constituency by a nexus of contractors and corporators.” The trail of the scam turned cold with the files pertaining to the same vanishing.The contracts relate to works like remodelling of drains near KR Market and construction of Avenue Road pavement taken up in the constituency since 2008. While work hardly showed any progress on the ground, the bills were cleared in a jiffy. There has also been no clarity on whether necessary clearances were obtained before clearing the bills.

Chickpet includes the wards Akkipete (P), Sowrashtrapete, Balepete, Chickpete (P), Anchepete, Huriupete, Mamoolpete, Ballapurpete, Cubbonpete, Ramanpete and K G Extension.

Incumbent MLA’s performance

The BJP’s Dr. D. Hemachandra Sagar won the 2008 elections, securing 40,252 votes, out of the total vote base of 2,08,178. In second place was R. Devaraj of the Congress, who lagged behind by a margin of 7281 votes, securing 32,971. There was only 48% voter turnout in the 2008 elections.

Sagar’s performance as an MLA draws a blank. Besides taking pride in organising ‘mass marriages’, Aadhar card drives, Sagar claims to have built concrete structures for slum residents in Sudhama Nagar. However, Citizen Matters has not verified these claims. Residents accuse him of inaccessibility, indifference to civic issues and unwillingness to undertake crucial infrastructural projects. However, he tried his best to apprise people about the works done by him.

Far more dire is his record as a politician. Sagar stands accused in a massive land denotification scam alongside tainted CM Yedyurappa. As chairman of Sagar Health Group, one of the main shareholders in Sahyadri Health Care and Diagnostics Private Limited (SHC&DPL), Sagar allegedly paid the company Rs 3.35 crore in the form of share application for denotifying his land in survey number 121 of Uttarahalli village.  This land had been notified for the formation of Banashankari Vth stage residential layout. In effect, Sagar abused his official position and ensured that the possession of the land was not taken over by the BDA, causing the exchequer a loss of over Rs 175 crore.

Candidate profiles – Elections 2013

The BJP’s efforts to dissociate itself from Yeddyurappa’s tainted shadow resulted in Sagar not getting ticket this time. The allotting of ticket to Uday Garudachar was met with little resentment among the party workers, except for a minor protest by supporters of Rajarajeshwarinagar MLA M Srinivas at the party office.

Garudachar-owned Maverick Holdings is currently facing two Lokayukta enquiries. The first pertains to illegal construction on the land given to it by the BBMP to construct a public lot – the wholly commercial structure better-known as Garuda Mall.This mall has also encroached on land beyond its boundaries, constructed additional floors, housed additional shops and evaded rent and revenue payments to the BBMP, while refusing inspection. The second pertains to the award of the contract for construction of affordable housing for the residents of EWS Quarters in Ejipura, who were evicted from their homes in January 2013 without any rehabilitation. However, Garudachar  claims to be having a ‘soft corner for these slum guys.’. For a full interview with Garudachar, click here.

Among other candidates, JD(S) candidate M C Narayan Gowda has acquired notoriety with his run-ins with the Lokayukta, being accused of disproportionate assets. Congress candidate R Devaraj, who lost by a margin of 7,000 votes in 2008, is possibly looking to ride in on the strong anti-incumbency and minority vote.

Profiles of Candidates

Candidate
Age
Party-
Symbol
 
Declared assets/ liabilities and Criminal record Details
R V Devaraj (55) INC – Hand Total income: 1.2 crore
Total assets: 32.08 crore
Liabilities:98.3 lakh
Liabilities under dispute:
Government dues:89 lakhs
Loans: 5.6 crore
No-50, ‘C’ Street, Kote, Near Vani Vilas Hospital, Bangalore-560002.
BA from Guru Ghasidas University, Bilaspur, 2007
A leader of Seva Dal Youth Congress, a three-time MLA, ex-chairman of KSRTC, MLC, General Secretary of KPCC and a member of AICC.
Uday Garudachar (53) BJP- Lotus Total assets: 78. 8 crore
Liabilities: 16.6 crore
No personal criminal record. Company is involved in litigation pertaining to land allotments in the cases of Garuda Mall and EWS Ejipura.
No.727/1, 46th Cross, 8th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore-560082
MC Narayana Gowda (61) JD(S) – A lady farmer carrying paddy on her head Total income shown: 13 lakh
Total assets: 5.1 crore
Accused of offences under Sec 13(1)(e) r/w 13(2) of P.C. Act, 1988 in Spl. CC No. 138/2012 before 23rd Additional City Civil and Special Judge at Bangalore, filed by the Lokayukta pertaining to disproportionate assets to the tune of 89.92% of his known source of income.
No.80/1,Mahaveer Comforts, Dayaganal road, V.V.Puram, Bangalore-560004
Contact: 9945148888
narayanagowdamc@gmail.com
*Retired Inspector General of Police, promoted from the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) to IPS cadre in 1997
* state transport commissioner during the rule of H D Kumaraswamy-led JD(S) governement.
* In 2006, caught on camera  brokering an illegal land deal, aired on CNN-IBN.
* In 2009, he was in Lokayuktha net for holding disproportionate assets of Rs 1.75 crore. Despite the Lokayukta case, he was promoted as additional commissioner of police (administration), Bangalore City. However, Gowda became liable for prosecution after he retired in June 2012, only after which the Lokayukta was able to file a chargesheet against him. This is the first time he is contesting an election.
Khamar Taj KJP – Coconut Total assets: 10.7 lakh No.395,Puttenahalli,Vinayakanagar,Bangalore South taluk,Bangalore-560078
9343210328
Education: 10th Standard
Khamar is contesting elections for the first time.
Mujahid Pasha A. (31) SDPI – Auto-Rickshaw Total assets: 6.15 lakh NO.11, 8th Cross, Someshwaranagar, Jayanagara 1st Block, Bangalore-560011.
Contact: 9886031387
mujahidpasha29@gmail.com
Education: B.Sc., CZMb, Bangalore University, BHS 1st Grade College, 4th Block, Jayanagar Bangalore.
Self-employed.
P Murthy BSRC Total assets:
13.05 lakh
No 41, 1st cross, Hoysala nagar Nagarabhavi Bangalore-72
Contact: 9845039931
Education: SSLC Pass, Government School
H S Nagabhushan (46) KP Total income: 7.5 lakh
Total assets:
Rs. 1.49 crore
Liabilities: 12 lakh
No criminal record
No 450, 8th Cross, 3rd main, 1t stage 2 nd phase Manjunatha Nagar Bangalore-10
9844473958
h.s.nagabhushana@gmail.com
Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management, Karnataka Open University, 1991
MA in Kannada, Karnataka Open University, 2002
BA, Dayananda Evening College, 1990
V K Praveen (41) RPI(A) Total assets: 19 lakh
Criminal record:
CC-251/2002 GOWRIBIDANUR P/S.
CC-337/2004 FRAZER TOWN P/S
CC-2111/2010 VAYALI KAVAL P/S
CC-19039-2012 MADIVALA P/S
CC-35/2013 NELAMANGALA P/S
Crime no. 18/2013 SJ Park P/S
U/S 420, 465, 468, 471, R/W 34/OF IPC
U/S 374, 120(B), 468, 417, 420 R/W 34 OF IPC
No 66, 4th cross, C K C garden Opp. Myschool, LalBagh Road, Bangalore-27
Contact: 9731121111
Educational qualification: 7th Standard, My School, Lalbagh Road, 1985
K Ravichandra Rao (42) ABHM Total assets: Rs. 30,000 No 144, 6th Stage, vishveshwaraiya Layout, Ullal Bangalore-56
9480088960
sadanaravi1972@gmail.com
Sharadha (50) SP Total income shown: Rs. 1,20,000
 
No.40/A,Ramannapete, J.M road,Bangalore-560002
9844834103
Syed Mudaseer (35) SDPI Total assets:
35.1 lakh
Liabilities:
3.3 lakh car loan
No-233, 2nd Cross, K.M.Colony, Jayanagar 1st Block, Bangalore-560011.
9880328537
mudasirhani@gmail.com
M Adhi Mulam (38) IND – Bucket Total assets: 52,300
Liabilities- Personal loan of Rs. 4000 and Rs. 3500 respectively.
NO 313, old Tharagupet cross, Bangalore-10
9620335021
Educational qualification: 4th Standard, Government School Akkipet.
Ambrose D Mello (45) IND – Glass Tumbler   No 16, 1st Cross, J C Road New Mission Road, Bangalore-27
080-22264293
080-22132649
ambrosedmello0@gmail.com
K S Babu (60) IND – Sewing Machine No assets declared.
 
No 86, N M quarters, K G Nagar, Banglore-19
9980414707
Educational qualification:
9th Standard.
Profession:
Auto Consultant.
Abdul Aleem Turabi (51) IND – Bat Assets: 3.3 lakh NO.13/A,1st cross,S.R.K.Garden,Tilaknagar,Bangalore-560041
9845936586
Educational qualification:
SSLC- Community Centre High School, Jayanagar, 1978
R.Vasanth Kumar (43) IND – Carrom Board Total income: 2.2 lakh
 
No.43,1st cross,5th A main,Kempegowda layout,Sampangiramanagara,Bangalore-560027
Educational qualification:
8th Standard
M K Shanmuga Raj (44) IND – Candles Total assets: 20,012
 
No 21,Muniyappa Cement Compound, J.C Road,2nd A Cross Bangalore-02 9341712299
Educational qualification:
8th Standard, Old Fort High School, Chamarajpet
S Padmanabha (64) IND – Ring Income:
14.7 lakh
Total assets: 4.6 crore
Liabilities:
Housing loan, 1.10 crores in 20% of the loan amount
India Bulls house loan, 70 lakhs.
No 10/2, Ramiyengar Road, VV Puram Bangalore-04
9886004608
inf@indiaincensesticks.com
R Nagaraja (55) IND -Bread Total  assets: 10.45 crore No 1117, 19th A Main,2nd Phase,J P Nagar, Bangalore south, Bangalore-78
9945690490
08026597490
kcrnag@gmail.com
Educational qualification:
Pre-university course, VV Puram
Asgar A Moheen S M (44) IND – Telephone Criminal record:
CC 965/2007
CC 18261/2007
CC 559/2012
CC 429/2013
CC 155/2012
21386/12- 21392/12
No.32, 3rd Cross, Someshwaranagar, Jayanagar 1st Block, Bangalore-560011
8123062092
Kuram Pasha (36) IND – Almirah Criminal Record:
149/12, CCP Police
Total assets: 55.7 lakh
No.21/1,5th Cross,Someshwaranagar,1st Block Jayanagar,Bangalore-11
7411841850
Educational qualification:
9th Standard, Community Centre, Jayanagar 3rd Block, Passed in the year 1995.

Chickpet has 1,87,508 voters, as of the list released on 17 April 2013 by the Election Commission. It remains to be seen if there is any one, strong candidate to emerge blemishless, curry popular favour and rise to the real challenges that Chickpet poses.

2 Comments

  1. Hi
    Ravi I am Sarah, a journalist . I am basically covering the Sudhamanagar open drain issue in Chickpet . Since you are a resident of that area I need some help from you. If you could get in touch with me soon please . My number is 9986271600

  2. Very nicely outlined by Aruna. Being a chickpet resident from birth, nothing new has been seen around, rather than population growing, congested place, no place to park our own 2 wheeler in front of my own house, don’t think about 4 wheeler, business place rather than people with intellects for good social, economic developments. No proper sanitation, drinking water issues, no proper security for women, less empathizes to education, all are into making money, no social responsibility or whatsoever. THIS BEEN CALLED HEART OF THE CITY…

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