Electronics City houses technology giants like Infosys, Wipro, Siemens and HP. While people usually see the developed side of Electronics City with its high rises and IT parks, one often misses the reality, point out residents.
According to the Hulimangala Resident Welfare Association, a diverse population of residents in the many villages and residential apartments in Electronics City do not have access to health care. This area, the association says, is eligible to be within Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, but falls outside the city limits. Neither BBMP nor the Electronics City industrial Township Authority (ELCITA) have responded to the COVID emergency here, the association says.
ELCITA which was formed to protect and promote the interests of industries, was working only for the industries and not allowing BBMP to take control of the residential areas surrounding E-City, the association says.
ELCITA as an Industrial Township Authority, is responsible for the industries within E-City and maintains the roads, drainage, waste etc., within its limits. Citizens in the areas just outside, under the jurisdiction of the local panchayats struggle for proper roads, functioning drainage and waste management.
Elaborating on the poor upkeep in the village panchayat jurisdiction, the association notes that sewage and garbage collected from Neeladari Nagar, Shikaripalya and Maragondanahalli Village are dumped at Maragondanahalli Lake near Shikaripalya.
COVID compounds problem
A considerable population of low income neighbourhoods and residential communities, dependent on IT companies for their daily wages, have been severely hit by the pandemic, the association says. The second wave has hit populations like these, living just outside Bengaluru, particularly hard.
Electronics City, the association points out, does not have a Primary Health Centre (PHC). The nearest government or private hospital is 4-7 kms away in neighbouring villages like Veerasandra, Hulimanagala, Doddatoguru and Konappana Agrahara. At present, some people who need to access healthcare facilities or COVID testing go to Anekal or Bommanahalli PHCs that are more that 7-8 km away, the association’s press release said.
Pointing out that there is no support at the local level to fight COVID, the association said that common citizens and workers are suffering due to the absence of a PHC. Cases are increasing each day with no hope or plan for vaccination.
When the association approached BBMP’s Commissioner for a solution, he suggested that ELCITA take up the matter with the Karnataka government to open a PHC. When the association approached ELCITA, the CEO suggested that the association should connect with BBMP’s Bengaluru South team for COVID beds.
Citizens of Hulimangala do not know whom to approach or when they will get vaccinated. “Why aren’t industries, IT companies here not ensuring our welfare? Can BBMP and ELCITA together not make a temporary war room to manage COVID?” the association asks.
What residents want
The association immediately wants Electronics City to get a temporary Primary Health Center for testing, vaccination drives and medical assistance. Temporary vaccination centres can be set up in some of the ready-IT infrastructure available in Electronics City, it suggests.
BBMP should also take control of the residential areas (inside Electronics City) that are growing faster than ever without following proper guidelines, the association says.
[This article is based on a press release from Hulimangala Residents Welfare Association, and has been published with edits.]