On the morning of 25 June, residents of Malleswaram, accompanied by ACP Krishnappa, took a different kind of walk. About 30 of us joined Krishnappa and Inspector Aslam at 7.30 AM to walk around a few streets of the area, to highlight the problems of traffic created by garbage, debris, cement blocks and lack of street lights.
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The walk was a result of a citizens’ meeting that took place on 23 June, again at the behest of ACP Krishnappa in his police station. During the meet, some of us met up with officials of BESCOM, the forest department and a few more officers, and put across the woes of Malleswaram residents. Amongst other matters, we complained that branches of trees that had been cut were left lying on the road causing inconveniences to the citizens.
While the officials promised to take action, the ACP exhorted all of us to be more proactive in tackling the problems. Which is why we found ourselves going around the area on the morning of the 25th, checking up on the progress and lending a hand. We were delighted to see that all the branches of trees that had been cut down on the 23 June had been removed by BESCOM. That was one temporary problem out of the way, but there are many more problems that the residents face.
The march was led by the vice-president of Malleswaram Swabhimana Initiative (MSI), Mrs Nagaratna Rao and other members. MSI is the resident welfare association of Malleswaram locality that is in its 9th year. It was started by only a few citizens and has now become the nodal point for citizens to come and help solve their civic problems. We have regular interactions with the civic agencies like BESCOM, BWSSB, BBMP’s engineering and health departments and other agencies.
Many residents of Malleswaram were curious to see us walking, and expressed a desire to participate in the activities of MSI. We walked to the residence of the MLA Dr Ashwath Narayan, with a memorandum of some of the problems faced by the Malleswaram residents. He immediately called upon the service providers, especially the Health and Engineering Departments, to address these issues. He also heard the grievances of all those who had come.
The MLA promised to meet the residents of Malleswaram along with service providers on 1 July, which happens to be the first Tuesday of the month. This is also the day on which MSI has its monthly review meeting, this Tuesday to be held at the Hymamshu Jyothi School on 4th Main road at 4.30 PM.
This walk was successful in many ways – it highlighted problems of citizens and informed both the MLA and the police of the difficulties faced by the citizens and increased the awareness of MSI. It also brought home the fact that the work of all the departments is interlinked, and everybody needs to work in a co-ordinated manner to get the works completed on time.
The next task is to get all the citizens of Malleswaram to become active in the matters that affect all of us, like garbage segregation, citizen policing, helping correct the voters list, planting more trees and so forth. Only with the active participation of more and more people will it be possible to make Malleswaram clean, green and beautiful – a place that we will all be proud to live in.
We need to stop being the Swalpa Adjust Maadi people, and become vigilant, pro-active and responsible citizens.⊕