Residents of Dollar Scheme layout in BTM 1st stage in south Bengaluru, one of whom is a BBMP employee, have won a major case against parking nusiance in the area. BBMP’s garbage contractors were parking vehicles along the roads in their layout. Eleven residents of 32nd and 33rd main in the layout had filed a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) in the High Court in June 2010, asking BBMP and the police department to prevent trucks from being parked in the area.
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In early January, the court ordered the BBMP to take action within two months to solve the issue. A brief report on the ruling was originally published in The Hindu on 6 January.
Around 150 trucks and 200 autos collecting garbage were being parked here for several years, causing stench and sanitation issues. Some vehicles were parked in the site owned by garbage contractor Gopinath Reddy along 32nd main, and others were parked in the streets. While other streets in this BDA-approved layout were all asphalted and well-maintained, 32nd main road was not asphalted.
36-year-old Imtiaz Ahmed, a Vijayanagar resident who had bought a plot in the area in 2006, says that residents had made representations to various authorities to get the garbage vehicles removed and to asphalt the road. "At 3 am the vehicles would leave, collect the garbage and come back at around 3 pm. After 10 at night, all vehicles – many of them with garbage – will be here and the entire area would be blocked. There was no clear answer from BBMP or BDA officials as to why vehicles could not be cleared," he says.
Ahmed who runs his electronic and furniture business in Kamakshipalya, consulted the residents and persuaded them to sign petitions addressed to various authorities. Around 20 houses in the area were affected. Representations were made to BBMP, BDA, Pollution Control Board, and the local MLA about the issue, but to no avail.
One of citizens who sued BBMP is a BBMP employee, who joined cause with other petitioners after her own efforts to push the local authority went in vain.
Even BBMP officials residing in the layout could not do much. Lakshmi Devi, 49, one of the petitioners, is a First Division Assistant at BBMP’s Revenue department. "I had given complaints to BBMP’s Health department many times, but there was no response. We were also concerned about security as the workers would stay back," she says. Another resident Shakeela says that the problem has persisted for the last 20 years.
Ahmed says that the contractors had given many assurances that the vehicles would be removed. "Reddy said that he owned another plot of 30,000 sq ft area near the Burial Ground in Hosur road and that the vehicles would be moved there soon, but it never happened," he says.
The residents’ lawyer, Advocate Hiremath says, "According to the KMC Act, it is the responsibility of BBMP to provide civic amenities and look into complaints from the public. These vehicles cannot be parked in a residential area."
Responding to the petition, BBMP said that it had issued two notices to the contractors in November to remove the vehicles from the area. The Court disposed the case on January 5, giving BBMP two months to take further action. Recently the 32nd main road was asphalted and now fewer vehicles park here. Residents hope that all vehicles would be removed from the area itself.
"BBMP has assured the court that this would be done. We are happy that the judgement came fast, but we have to see how it will be implemented," says Ahmed. ⊕