Sathish M. Reddy, incumbent MLA of Bommanahalli constituency, did not get the time to give a proper interview for Citizen Matters, but did manage to squeeze in some time to share his work in the last 10 years. Excerpts:
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You have been an MLA in Bommanahalli for 10 years. When you started, this entire area was still developing, but today it has become a thriving, commercial, developed and rich area. What was your vision then? Have you achieved it?
When I took over, HSR Layout was a part of BBMP. There were no proper water connections, sanitation or roads. After I took over, I have managed to achieve so much. We completed the construction of 650 kms of roads, 75 kms of rajakaluves and improvements of the Madiwala and Puttenahalli lakes. We improved the sewage and sanitation lines and increased the ground water levels of the constituency. We have connected every house to the Cauvery River water supply, improved garbage waste management. Nyanappanahalli Bande, which was just a dumping ground for garbage, has been converted to a playground. It’s all thanks to the Swachch Bharat funds of Rs 14 crore.
What would you say are your major achievements in this list?
Introduction of pump sets, sanitary lines, improvement of the Bannerghatta Road, connections to Cauvery, sanitary pipelines, on which we spent Rs 750 crore, parks, the widening of Bannerghatta Road and Metro lines – these are the major achievements of which we are glad.
Solid waste management volunteers from HSR Layout seem to be supporting you. What exactly did you do with them?
We helped the volunteers from H S R Layout to achieve garbage segregation and a plastic-free colony in four to five years. Today, there is no plastic in this locality.
You were opposing KCDC plant in HSR layout. At one point you had blocked the road to KCDC to stop vehicles from entering. What is your stand about it now? Should it be closed?
Oh, I cannot answer this now! I can address it only after elections. I did help to close down the area from being a dumping site for garbage. We stopped 30 lorries from coming here, but now there are 12 to 13 lorries that do come here everyday to empty themselves.
HSR is said to be having the best waste segregation practices, due to active volunteers. However, status in other wards is not good. For instance, Bommanahalli ward is abysmal. Any idea why?
Bommanahalli ward is composed of villages. The buildings and roads there have been constructed since decades, we cannot suddenly redesign or change anything here. We want to educate people, so that we can make them more aware of their surroundings and their responsibilities. I do address issues. For instance, from 11 to 12.30 everyday, I am accessible and take questions from the people and visit the places on the spot, so that we can address and advise people immediately.
What did you do for the slum-dwellers near the garbage heaps in vacant sites at Somasundarapalya? Those people are not the ones who will be involved in voluntary work. How do you propose to help them?
Somasundarapalya has been given Cauvery water connections. We are giving Rs 4.5 lakh each to 4,000 homeless people for construction. We are paying Rs 500 crore for this. Three wards out of nine have received gas connection pipelines.
The Congress government does not give us any funds for development. They give only their own INC MLAs, but not those from other parties. For instance, Dinesh Gundu Rao has got Rs 2,500 crore. What about us? We have built 700 kms of roads, but still need to build 90,000 kms still.
At this point, Satish Reddy just got busy with visitors and rushed out to campaign for his public. So we had to wind up.