Even though Mysuru vies for the top slot among the cleanest cities of the country, residents of Bharath Nagar, the housing project taken up by Karnataka Slum Development Board about two decades ago just outside the Outer Ring Road near Sathgalli bus depot in the city, have been crying themselves hoarse over the absence of not only a garbage clearance mechanism, but also other basic amenities.
The residents of Bharath Nagar have been putting up with choked underground drainage pipelines, no streetlights, properly asphalted roads and other lack of amenities for several years. The sub-human living conditions of families, mostly belonging to poor daily-wagers, who had taken shelter in the thatched huts built alongside, is even worse.
The locality, is just a stone’s throw away from the swanky building in the Sathgalli bus depot built under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
An official of Karnataka Slum Development Board, which had constructed the dwellings at Bharath Nagar, said the board entrusts the responsibility of providing basic amenities to the jurisdictional local bodies. But, local bodies shun the responsibility on the grounds that they find it difficult to recover taxes from them, the official said.
Bharath Nagar falls in the limits of Hanchya Gram Panchayat, which has now been proposed to become part of the newly-formed Ramanahalli Town Panchayat.
“The residents are taken for a ride whenever elections to the local bodies approach. They are promised the amenities, but are ignored after the elections,” the official lamented.
An official of the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) said the areas falling outside the Outer Ring Road are not part of the civic body’s jurisdiction.
The hopes of the residents of Bharath Nagar, which is part of Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency, however, soared on Saturday when former Minister and area MLA G.T. Deve Gowda visited the area.
Among other things promised by Mr. Gowda was the immediate installation of ten waste collection containers. Ilyas Ahmed Babu, Mysuru City minority wing leader of JD(S), who represented the problems of the Bharath Nagar residents to Mr. Gowda, said there was no waste collection mechanism in the area. Heaps of garbage are found dumped in the area and on the adjoining Mahadevapura Main Road. Waste from different parts of the city is also brought and dumped here, he alleged.
Mr. Gowda said residents of the Bharath Nagar can now dump their garbage in the waste collection containers. Arrangements will be made for its clearance from time to time, he assured.
He also promised to take necessary steps for the installation of 40 street lights, one high mast lamp, asphalting of two roads and setting up of a RO drinking water plant in the area. With regard to choked and overflowing underground drainage pipeline, Mr. Gowda has promised to have the pipeline replaced with large diameter pipes. He also promised the residents of thatched huts that he will take necessary steps to include their names in the government housing schemes. However, it remains to be seen if his promises bring relief to the residents of Bharath Nagar.
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