February 17th, 2017
Over hundreds of residents in Bengaluru’s Nallurahalli area, including school children, organised a protest on Wednesday seeking action from the civic bodies for overlooking the deteriorating state of the area.
The vicinity of Nallurahalli reeks of civic apathy. The 1.5 km stretch of land in Whitefield that serves as a link between Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP) and the International Tech Park Bangalore (ITPB) is in a terrible condition. Roads have been dug up, drains remain open, garbage all over the streets, and there are no footpaths or street lights, all of which are leading to massive traffic congestion.
Wednesday’s protest, however, was triggered when the residents found sinkholes on a road that had been asphalted four days ago by the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).
Members of Whitefield Rising and residents of Nallurahalli organised the protest called Nallurahalli Kapadi or Save Nallurahalli. They joined hands to form a human chain and kids from schools held placards demanding the restoration of the civic amenities.
In 2015, the BWSSB reportedly decided to lay an Under Ground Drainage (UGD) line in the area and convert the main road into an 80-ft road. However, the project faced a major delay and ultimately the construction work began in August 2016 with a deadline of October 2016. However, the work has remained mostly disrupted and it hasn’t seen any progress till now.
The Logical Indian spoke to the residents of the area to know more.
“We have been trying to reach out to the BWSSB, the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) and even BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd.) authorities, but every authority is holding the other responsible. The BWSSB gave us a commitment letter which assured of finishing the work in 40-50 days, but every day the situation is turning out to be worse,” said Murugaraj Swaminathan, a techie and a member of Whitefield Rising.
Not only civic, but pollution woes are also plaguing the suburb of Nallurahalli. The Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) level is above 500 parts per million (ppm) while the acceptable level is 50 ppm, according to residents who have measured the quality of air with hand-held devices.
“The work done by the government has so far been superficial. All the resources have been exploited and today the suburb doesn’t even have access to proper water distribution system. Earlier, this place had parks and lakes which have all been ruined by the construction work,” said Srinivas Reddy, a resident of Nallurahalli.
“The 1.5 km stretch of land has 14 schools, mostly kindergartens. Nearly 14 to 15 percent of students remain absent every day as they are falling sick owing to the high levels of pollution. Besides, the rate of accidents has also increased. At least six people have died, and other minor accidents keep occurring on this stretch,” added Mr Reddy.
The Logical Indian urges the authorities to take charge of the situation and improve the condition of the area, before casualties start increasing.