Mahadevapura citizens to protest Friday against “filth, traffic jams and pollution”, demand MP, MLA, corporators resign

PROTEST AT MAHADEVAPURA

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Mahadevapura constituency has major infrastructure problems. Delimitation is unlikely to solve these. Pic courtesy: Whitefield Rising

Residents and citizen groups of Mahadevapura assembly constituency will stage a protest on Friday 9.30 am, at the Marathahalli Bridge bus stop. The #MahdevapuraDemands protest is called against elected representatives of the constituency for failing to deliver on the promises they had made on restoring civic amenities and making the area liveable. Resignation of elected representatives is one of the main demands of the protestors.

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The representatives here are Mahadevapura MLA Aravind Limbavali, Bengaluru Central MP P C Mohan, BBMP corporators A C Hari Prasad (Hoodi), B N Nithish Purushotham (Garudachar Palya), S Muniswamy (Kadugodi), S Uday Kumar (Hagadur), Shwetha Vijaykumar (Doddanekkundi), Ramesh (Marthahalli), Pushpa Manjunath (Varthur) and Asha Suresh (Bellandur).

Residents of Varthur, Balagere, Gunjur, Gunjurpalya and surrounding areas will also form a human chain near Varthur High School at 8.30 am, before joining the protest at Marathahalli.

In a series of tweets this week, the citizen group Whitefield Rising (@WFRising) listed the following reasons for the protest, and asked residents to join.

  • Mahadevapura has the “worst roads in the city” and most of these roads get gridlocked daily
  • The zone has “no access to clean drinking water or sewage disposal”
  • Pathetic garbage clearance system
  • Apathetic treatment and poor traffic management by the traffic police
  • “Mahadevapura has the most polluted air in the city
  • Representatives, including MPs, MLAs and corporators hinder progress in the area by shifting blame and fighting among themselves.

Protestors are also demanding the establishment of Mahadevapura Municipal Corporation, since the constituency’s area and population density is quite high. Instead of the current eight wards, the constituency should ideally have 25-30 wards for genuine local representation, they say.

A separate division of BTP (Bengaluru Traffic Police) at Mahadevapura, an empowered Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) prioritising suburban rail, and immediate rejuvenation of Bellandur and Varthur lakes, are some of their other demands.

Whitefield Rising, Bellandur Forum, Belathur Rising, ForceGW, Nallurahalli Rising, Bangalore Apartments’ Federation are among the citizen groups in the constituency that are supporting the protest. Schools like Greenwood High International, Inventure Academy and Delhi Public School have also pledged their support to the protest.

So, what really triggered residents here to organise a major protest?

Residents allege that basic facilities like roads, water and clean air have become a distant dream for them though Mahadevapura is the constituency that pays BBMP the highest taxes.

Unkept promises

Before the 2018 assembly election, Mahadevpura residents had asked candidates to sign a document – the Mahadevpura MLA Candidate Manifesto 2018. In this manifesto, residents had shared the attributes they were looking for in their candidate, and their expectations from the candidate as soon as he/she came to power.

BJP candidate Aravind Limbavali, who later became the MLA, had also signed the manifesto; residents allege that he has not acted on any of the items in it.

Copy of Aravind Limbavali’s signature to the Mahadevpur MLA Candidate Manifesto 2018 before he became the MLA

By signing the manifesto, Limbavali had promised the following:

  • Influence the appointment of competent, honest, strong, ethical officers for the posts of Joint Commissioner, Chief Engineer, SE – SWM, Deputy Health Officer and Tahsildar for Mahadevapura, so that they can “execute” and “deliver” successfully.
  • Public land must be ready with functioning DWCC (Dry Waste Collection Centre)
  • Ward committees must be operational in all eight wards, with monthly meetings and publishing of monthly minutes
  • Ensure welfare funds are spent 100 percent
  • Publish data online on ward vs zone level budget allocations regularly, with detailed data on funds spent vs work done
  • Hundred percent transparency for citizens

However, nothing much has changed, residents say.

Garbage everywhere

Residents of Mahadevpura have been complaining about the absence of DWCC in most wards of the constituency. “The CSR funds to set up a local DWCC, which would reduce stress on the waste system, had to be foregone due to non-allocation of public land,” says the demand letter by Whitefield Rising.

Residents also complain about the irregular schedule of waste collection autos. The staff in these autos also mix up waste, which the residents had already segregated at source. “BBMP allocates Rs 56,000 per small vehicle per month for garbage pickup and we have enough of these vehicles, but they do not service the allocated areas,” the demand letter says.

The yet-to-be-built underpass

Whitefield Rising has submitted a written complaint to the state Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar on the delay in acquiring land for an underpass at Kundanahalli gate. The group demanded that Rs 42.5 crore be released immediately for acquiring land for footpaths and roads around the underpass. This fund had already been approved under the Nava Nagarathona Scheme, but was not released. Approval is needed for acquiring 4385 sq mt of land too, the complaint says.

Copy of the letter submitted to the State Chief Secretary by Whitefield Rising

Residents allege that the design of the underpass was approved with many flaws, for example, with road width of just 3.5 m. The original plan had a 7.5 m-wide road on both sides of the underpass, and a 2.5 m-wide footpath.

Whitefield Rising says that work on the underpass has not started despite citizens’ representations to every department of the BBMP and state government. Their letter also says that Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had promised Rs 45 cr for land acquisition for the underpass, during his visit to the constituency.

No redemption for roads

The Bellandur Development Forum, like many other citizen groups in the constituency, has been demanding better road infrastructure for more than a year, but to no avail. The forum has filed several complaints with the BBMP and the state government, but roads in the area have remained in a dismal condition.

“Over the past five years, we have paid around Rs 700 crore as residential property tax alone. That is, Rs 130 crore on average, annually,” says Vishnu Prasad, a member of the forum.

Residents have complained that over 35 kms of road improvement work, that was part of the 2015 Master Plan, has not yet started here. This includes Sarjapur road, improvement of Doddakannelli road, widening of Kasavanahalli, Haralur and Bellandur roads, and many others.

Last year, over 10,000 residents hit the streets with a silent protest, demanding better road infrastructure in the constituency, but authorities’ commitments remain on paper without any action. “We have already approached every official in BBMP and PWD, but the situation remains the same,” Prasad says.

Transport trouble

The lack of mass transit and proper BMTC bus connectivity in the area has forced the residents to use their private vehicles, which has increased congestion and the Air Quality Index beyond acceptable levels.

In a letter submitted on September 23rd to Dr Ashwath Narayan, the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, Bellandur Development Forum demanded a Metro station at Sarjapur Road. The Metro line can be extended by about 6.5 kms from the proposed Iblur Carmelaram Metro station for this, they said.

A Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) and suburban trains are also part of the demands made to the deputy chief minister. The demand letter of Whitefield Rising says, “With slight improvement to the existing rail infrastructure, the city can have incredible rail connectivity, and it would take just 40-45 minutes to go to Majestic from Whitefield.”

However, several meetings with senior officials and the Managing Director of BMRCL, BBMP Commissioner, and Additional Chief Secretary of the Urban Development Department, have proved futile.

Green Mahadevapura initiative

In May this year, the Bellandur Development Forum had submitted a letter to MLA Aravind Limbavali and MP P C Mohan, requesting them to initiate green measures in the constituency with the help of RWAs (Resident Welfare Associations). The letter requested Limbavali and Mohan to provide “structure, policy and execution, both in the interim and long run”, for initiatives such as:

  • Identification of about 3500-4000 sq ft of land per each 2 sq km area in urban centres, for building Miyawaki plantations. These will act as carbon sinks and hugely improve Bengaluru’s air quality, the letter said.
  • Review and present policy initiatives to clear eucalyptus trees across key urban municipalities since they adversely affect water conservation.
  • Build minimum of 5000 recharge wells across Mahadevapura, that can help shallow aquifer recharge

A copy of the letter was also sent to Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, the Prime Minister’s Office, BWSSB Chairman Tushar Girinath, and the then-BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad.

According to lake volunteer Shilpi Sahu, sewage flow into lakes – notably into Kaikondrahalli and Kasavanahalli lakes and Sowl Kere – is a major issue.

“The BBMP Lakes department is responsible for any issue within the lake body, but most problems are created outside due to ‘urban development’. On one hand, Sowl Kere went nearly dry in summer, and on the other, raw sewage was flowing into it abundantly. We had to keep diverting raw sewage. If we didn’t, there would have been fish deaths and contamination of surrounding wells,” Shilpi says.

“Why do we not have underground drainage in our area yet? What about Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs)? Who is monitoring the STP discharge from apartments and commercial buildings?” she asks, adding that the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has failed to implement its own guidelines related to sewage discharge.

The #MahadevpuraDemands protest might be the biggest voice for change in the city after the new government has taken charge. Fulfilling the protestors’ demands is now in the hands of elected representatives.


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About Kedar Koushik 16 Articles
Kedar Koushik was an Associate Editor at Citizen matters

10 Comments

  1. People have given enough time to these MLA and Coporator. They did not do anything except minting money and enjoying their position. Its high time that these people are kicked out as they are worthless to Carryout duties.

  2. Ramanasri enclave bilekahalli also not connected to sewage and every time it rains there is 2-3 feet of sewage on roads. We fear when it rains !!!! Tweeted to PMO but no response.
    Inspite of paying high income tax, residential tax and very high GST we get this hell to live in.

  3. I can bet my bottom rupee that the politicians and BBMP will do nothing. They are in it for the money. These corrupt people should be put in jail and BBMP should be disbanded and a beter organisation created from the ground up. Otherwise nothing is going to change.

  4. No need to pay road tax for new vehicles as government is providing old pathetic roads then old tax paid by us enough. Remove road tax in banglore.

  5. Real estate builders are also responsible for it. As soon as road paid they will dig road for their comfort.They construct building without drainage facilities after completion they handover apartments to owners when drainpit fills up it runs on the roads.These real estate allows heavy duty lorry to run on small lane which also leads damage to road.
    I have seen most of residents they never bothered to throw filth and waste throw on the roads which make area murky and filthy.

  6. When I first came to Bangalore, looking at the traffic conditions and office being at Bellandur, I took KR puram as the last point and a bottle neck not to cross for finding a livable locality. Marthahali is the worst, kalyan nagar seems the best but hard luck to find home, I some how managed to get a home at Mahadevpura and trust me I was able to stay there just for a week thats it I left the home crossed KR puram and finally I am staying at better livable place. No matter it takes an hour and half to travel one side but still worth it. Mahadevapura is a place which is unplanned, its like people are just somehow adjusting to stay, more power cuts, narrow roads, sewage directly coming out in the road and in the rain its the worst. Even basic amenities like food vegetables vendors are far off the place. Good that the local people are coming together in demand for better place to stay.

  7. Increasing migrations from different states in a higher pace is the main reason the authorities are unable to handle the situation.

    • That is common in every big metro like Bangalore it has happen in Mumbai , Kolkata ,delhi long back but they don’t blame on migrants. because of migrants only 500 Rs site has become 5 crore in 20 years , uneducated land mafias grabbed huge money 8000 crore worth & became top minister.It is the migrants who shaped IT industry in Bangalore made Bangalore world famous . now also BBMP budget is one of the highest in country but all money is going to politician , no real work is happening , From a pensioner paradise it has became the most corrupted city , garbage city , now all this is because migration ! As if only in world people only migrated to Bangalore only ! Don’t live in fools paradise these words are taught to you by the same corrupt bureaucrat so that there corruption , in capability can’t be seen.

  8. Good to hear people are coming forward to question and protest how many of you think your are right to stand there and protest who is responsible for this mess did not see the condition of the roads and drains before investing your hard earned money .alteast at some point in your career you would have traveled abroad did not think about your living condition before putting your money have bribed the official to get housing plan sanctioned why all of a sudden you think there are roads garbage everywhere are people at home keeping there house neat and throwing garbage out side . I have seen the narrow roads and alway wonder how people have invested there money without thinking farm lands converted into layouts without any planing and educated people blindly invested in them and today your are to be blamed for the mess don’t protest join together and clean the mess created by each one of you in blindly invest in such areas

  9. Plz request dhinesh gundu Rao also to resign, check the status of filth & garbage in balepet Cross roads Bangalore. Worst management
    Will they tolerate this around their premises where they live?

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