“Better roads and civic amenities first, votes next!” say residents of Thubarahalli


The dilapidated Vibgyor School road. Pic: Raghu Kumar

When: Saturday August 1st, 10 am to 12 pm
Where: Thubarahalli, Vibgyor School Road, Kundanahalli Gate, Munekolala
Why: Lack of basic civic amenities

Thubarahalli, Munnekola, Siddapura, Immidihalli, Pattandur Agrahara and other erstwhile villages surrounding the Whitefield area have become growth areas in the burgeoning Whitefield suburb of Bengaluru. With a large number of IT and ITES firms located in Whitefield, these villages have been converted by large builders into residential communities. Each of the villages has grown from supporting a small (tens) number of families to thousands of residences. Based on the growth of these residential areas, commercial development of shops, malls and other support mechanisms have mushroomed.

However these villages and the Whitefield area in general, lack basic civic amenities that are needed to sustain residential and commercial development of this scale. These areas completely lack:

  1. Piped water supply of any kind
  2. Underground sewerage system
  3. Proper storm water drainage
  4. Street systems to carry the vehicular traffic within these communities
  5. In some cases, necessary street lighting to ensure safety and security of the residents/visitors

Pic: Sudarshan Ranganathan

While there were small borewells that were supplying the villages, with the mushrooming of large apartment complexes, there is no source of water to supply these communities. Most builders dug borewells to support their construction efforts and these have gone dry post the construction phase. The majority of Whitefield and these villages and communities now rely solely on tanker based supplies from peripheral areas. These water tankers and tractors cause a lot of traffic problems apart from being driven in an unsafe manner.

Without underground sewerage systems in place, the new communities are left with putting up some form of a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), all of which discharge effluent water into open drains or nearby open areas making it unsafe. Other smaller dwellings and village residents have to rely on septic tanks or open drains for their discharge.

While the arterial roads were developed, most of the smaller roads and side streets have been neglected by both BBMP and the builders who put up large complexes in the interior areas. These large complexes have attracted a large number of residents, who in turn have many vehicles, which the unpaved and badly formed streets are unable to handle. Many of the interior and main roads are now unable to take this growth of motorised traffic.

In a majority of these developments, there is no proper access to the communities and the builders provided short term access by negotiating short term deals, or via false promises through private lands. Once these private land owners figured out the modus-operandi of the builders, they have protested by blocking the access via their lands causing no access or restricted access to the newly developed communities.

      

Pics: Sudarshan Ranganathan

Two such roads are:

  1. Thubarahalli village road along with the Thubarahalli Extension Road now home to over 1000 residents, along with the traditional village residents. The road through the village was never meant to handle the volume and type of motarised traffic it is subject to today. This is very much hampering the living conditions of the village residents.
  2. Vibgyor School Road which now supports a full school, in addition to many residential communities, again with over a 1000 residents, but without a proper road. While there has been a dirt road, any development of this has been blocked by land owners through which the road was created. Even BBMP and the government have been able to do little to legally declare the current road as a public road.

For many a year now, BBMP and the government have been negotiating with the land owners to get access to the land for the road with no progress. How does BBMP approve these residential complexes and a school with no public road to access them?

The residents of these two roads and communities adjoining them have for over two years made various representations to BBMP, the elected representatives of the Legislative Council and the state government.  However, no credible action has been taken so far to improve the roads and other civic amenities in the Thubarahalli ward.

The conditions have deteriorated with the recent rains, and also with BWSSB digging up these already bad conditions to lay pipes and leaving them not restored. It has been over a year now that BWSSB has laid pipes in a half-done manner and these are now beginning to break and crumble, as they were not properly supported, leaving the roads in a more dangerous state

We, the residents of Thubarahalli, Kundanahalli Gate and Munnekola areas directly impacted in our day-to-day lives by the lack of basic amenities, now plan to hold a mass peaceful campaign on August 1st 2015 to highlight the lack of basic civic amenities and demand that basic civic amenities be urgently provided before the elections to BBMP are held.

Our demands of the BBMP and BWSSB are the following:

  1. Complete the UGD on the Thubarahalli, Vibgyor and Sai Layout (Kundanahalli Gate) roads immediately
  2. Lay Cauvery water pipeline and connect to mainline which is already serving AECS and BEML layouts
  3. Clear the storm water drain and pave with asphalt the main village road in Thubarahalli which was damaged by the UGD work
  4. Resolve any access issues, widen and pave the Thubarahalli Extension road
  5. Resolve any access issues on the Vibgyor road and pave with asphalt immediately
  6. Pave the Sai Layout road from Kundanahalli Gate to the interior of Sai Layout
  7. Provide adequate street lighting on the Thubarahalli Village Road, Thubarahalli Extension Road and Vibgyor Road to ensure safety and security of the residents

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