The death of a toddler, last week, due to the terrible condition of the roads in Rajpalya, Near Hoodi circle made the city and the residents of Whitefield sit up, take notice and subsequently, take appropriate action.
Disturbed by the unfortunate accident, residents of various communities in the Whitefield area, came together on Saturday, December 7, 2013 to protest against the pathetic condition of roads as well as related infrastructure: lack of pavements, medians, street lights, haphazard parking of BMTC buses, container trucks, lorries and water tankers – all adding to the chaos every single day.
More than 200 people from residential communities of Whitefield came down to the streets on a Saturday morning to make themselves heard. A peaceful protest march began from Chaitanya Samarpan on SH 35 near Kadugodi, and proceeded towards Hope Farm Junction and then on to Prestige Shantiniketan near ITPL, where many more people from various other communities joined the march.
Everyone then marched from Prestige Shantiniketan to handover a petition to the Joint Commissioner, BBMP – Mr Devraj. The protest found a number of supporters along the way, and people echoed the citizens’ initiative and their activism to make our voices heard.
Upon reaching Mahadevpura BBMP office, the residents found more support in Mr.RK Misra (www.rkmisra.in), who was also meeting Mr Devraj for the same problems.
The Jt. Commissioner, Devraj addressed the residents’ group and promised action and concrete steps in the one month demanded by residents.
Whitefield residents have been making continuous individual efforts to upgrade the infrastructure of this area, but no one listened. The Whitefield, EPIP zone and ITPL area is a massive IT hub with lakhs of people working in various companies located here. Every one of these people faces a daily ordeal getting to and from their offices — but our elected representatives, BBMP and government officials don’t seem to be concerned.
A major stretch of road from Ulsoor – Old Madras Road – KR Puram – Hope Farm – Kadugodi right upto the Kolar Road (SH35) intersection, which witnesses extremely heavy traffic, is in the most dilapidated condition, and authorities have turned a total blind eye to this. It appears that that are absolutely unconcerned about peoples’ health, vehicles or loss of productivity.
A few months ago, a long stretch of road in the area was dug up by GAIL to lay its pipelines. However, once the work was completed, the roads were left as is — in a pile of loose soil, sand and fine dust. In the current state, a mere 5 minute walk on this road is enough to give any asthmatic patient a major attack.
Fed up with this lackadaisical attitude, complete apathy and inactivity from the government and other concerned authorities, and jolted into action by the recent tragic accident, residents of the area decided that it was time to launch a public protest. They were led by resident Veerendra Mishra from Prestige Shantiniketan, who initiated this call for a public protest.
Community representatives like Madhu Poduval from Skylark Arcadia, Manoj Jhanji from Waterwoods, Suhas Nerurkar from Palm Meadows, Anantharaman Ramasamy from Chaitanya Samarpan, Manoj S from Mahavir Varna, Anand Bhardwaj from Golden Blossom, among many others circulated information about the protest among their fellow residents and friends and also participated in the protest march.
The residents group also submitted a petition to the Joint commissioner, BBMP clearly and categorically stating their demands. This petition is also being sent to the local MLA, Bangalore Mayor and Deputy Mayor, as well as to the Commissioner BBMP and other ward councillors.
The Whitefield residents group left the BBMP office with a resolve to up the ante, if they see little or no action on the demands put forward by the residents. Aware of the pace at which things move in our government offices, the residents know they have a long battle ahead but they are ready for this and are in it for the long haul. The next course of action will be decided in consultation with all communities, and this could be along the lines of a peaceful day-long dharna in front of the local MLA and BBMP Commissioner’s office.
Pictures of the protest can be found at – http://flic.kr/s/aHsjNDuMUR.
Video clipping of Jt. Commissioner, Devraj, addressing the residents group and promising action in one month: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9riKNrqwpj8.
Copy of the petition submitted to Joint commissioner, BBMP can be found here.