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On the sixth day of the IAC protest at Freedom Park, more than five thousand people gathered to show their support.
Thousands signing the banner supporting Anna Hazare. Pic: Padmalatha Ravi
Master Hirannaiah, a theatre personality, known for his ability to deliver scathing views on politics, did not dissappoint. Dr Devi Shetty who gave a brief speech got a rousing welcome from those gathered. Hundreds of organisations pledged their support.
Many of the particpants were joining in for the first time. A businessman, Anup, in his mid-thirties, said ‘I was holding back because, I have paid a lot of bribe in my time.’ On asking what changed his mind he said ‘may be if I join in, I won’t have to pay bribe anymore.’
Cozy Sunday morning did not deter families from joining in the protest. Many had brought their children along. Some children just few months old. Nobody wanted to miss the action. Young and old, political, apolitical, mere obervers, everyone was there.
A pic essay.
Age no bar for the support. Pic: Padmalatha Ravi
Families turned up in huge numbers to show support
Parents wanted their children to witness it, however young. Pic: Padmalatha Ravi
Dr Nikhil, ENT specialist and his wife Dr Prarthana, a public health official think their presence will add to the swelling numbers and encourage the leaders to end corruption. They brought their daughter Gowri along. Pic: Padmalatha Ravi
Volunteers painting tri-colours. Much like on a cricket match day. Pic: Padmalatha Ravi
We are ready to give up our Sunday for Anna Hazare, said these students from Vidya Jyothi School, BTM layout. Pic: Padmalatha Ravi
Chakravyuha of Corruption. We are having to live with corruption. We haven’t got our Khatas 16 months after the SC order, say residents of Sachidanandanagar. They’ve been fighting to get khatas without bribe. Pic: Padmalatha Ravi
Rame Gowda, the security supervisor at Freedom Park, is pretty impressed that the number of participants have increased since April. But he says ‘all these people will say a lot of things but corruption will go on unabated.’ He has no inclination to join the protesters, he says. Pic: Padmalatha Ravi
Benjamin Lim is from Singapore and this is his first visit to India. He decided to spend the one day he is in Bangalore at the Freedom Park. Pic: Padmalatha Ravi
Two months after a major fire tragedy and a subsequent police directive, Bengaluru is yet to see clear cut enforcement plans coming into place to combat non-compliance of safety rules. All officials claim is ‘discussions are on’.
Garbage collection and disposal is a big scam in itself. City Corporation pays 160 crores a year to Contractors to collect and dispose garbage. Despite this most houses and apartments have to pay anywhere between Rs.100 to Rs.10,000 per month (for large apartments) for the garbage disposal. Even after all this money changing hands more than 80% of the garbage is unscientifically disposed in open landfills. The Pourakarmikas (City cleaning staff employed by via the contractors)are supposed to be paid Rs.120/- per day but the contractors pay them only Rs.40/- out of the Rs.80/- they get from the BBMP. Any guesses for where the rest of the money goes? And this year BBMP has imposed a Solid Waste Management Cess.
For the common citizen supporting this Anti-corruption movement is not only about putting Central Ministers or the Prime Minister in the dock for scams such as 2G, CWG, but also about bringing transparency and accountability at all levels of Governance right from Panchayats & City Corporations all the way to the State and Central Government.
Roads are in bad shape right within the city…leave alone the newly added areas of BBMP (which is apparently bankrupt despite the high rate of tax collection in the last 5 years thanks to the transparent system established by previous government).
Every year contracts are awarded by the BBMP for giving a ‘make-up’ layer to the roads. Undoubtedly ample bribes are paid to get these contracts and come monsoon the roads get washed out.
A scientifically proven solution to double the longevity of the roads by adding recycled plastic (successfully adopted on some of Bangalore’s major roads e.g Indiranagar 80ft road) is not promoted by the BBMP for obvious reasons
Drinking water is scarce in even the Municipal areas. Dependence on the ubiquitous water tanker in most areas is almost 70%. Many lakes have been encroached by builders of apartments and commercial complexes with the connivance of the City corporation leading to absence of the natural ground water recharging mechanism. The BWSSB is also very corrupt demanding bribes for everything from cleaning/change of pipes (Rs 1000/-) to reconnection after line work (Rs.3000/- for apartments to Rs.10,000 for streets)
Why’re we so angry about corruption. Just look at these aspects of life in one of the fastest growing cities of the world, Bangalore and read on for the 4 very visible effects of Corruption for us common folks
Power outages dues to shortages are the norm here. Upto 24% electricity is lost due to transmission and distribution. There’s corruption at various levels. Bribes are demanded for even simple requests such as installation of new meters (Rs.400/-) or transfer of ownership from apartment builder (Rs.1500/-)
for more see part 2