patrol beat

Down In The Dumps - by Aarthi R/TNN

Bangalore: It’s time now for the last and among the least scorers of Bangalore.

We peg this last leg of TOI Bangalore Patrol’s assembly constituency wise survey with those who have just about managed to get pass class marks and come in at the bottom.  Unsurprisingly they are spread across the city and aren’t confined to one specific area as such and score less than five on a score of ten.

In fact, Anekal, a one-time village and `Gajashella pura’ (elephant rock town) that now marks the southern most tip of Bangalore district are ranked last among the assembly constituencies with an overall score of just 3.95 on 10, that’s below the minimum 40% pass percentage! The individual scores on the report card also make it evident that Anekal still has some way to go, before it can claim to have a livable civic life.

Interestingly, the scores and inferences are based on the conditions at Singasandra (ward 191), that happens to be the only Bangalore ward under expanded BBMP limits in Anekal constituency. With a score of just 0.13 under public amenities, it’s very clear that parks and playgrounds are a rarity here. The rapid concretization is also leaving it with less space to plan. With scores just above 3, water and environment are also a major concern here.

However, what also springs forth as a pleasant surprise are the comparatively good sanitation and mobility conditions here. The maximum score on Anekal’s report card__5.49 is for sanitation. But even that ranks just one above the lowest. This is followed by a mobility score of 4.52 which is just about the same as some of the oldest constituencies in Bangalore. Even C V Raman Nagar scores only 4.40 on this. What boosts the mobility factor at Singasandra is the speed of travel and pedestrian safety. Perhaps this is also made possible due to its `far-from-core city limits’ factor.

Of the bottom eight constituencies, Byatarayanapura, Dasarahalli and Yelahanka, are in the north. This might be the zone seeing the fastest growth in Bangalore now, but there’s nothing much to feel happy about it, barring its proximity to the swanky Bengaluru International airport (BIA) at the moment. These also include the first few wards of the city including the ward numbered one, i.e the Kempegowda ward.

Amongst the laggards, Byataranapura leads with a score of 4.97 but civic infrastructure is still inadequate. A probable reason could be the fact that it covers a major chunk of BDA’s still-to-be-formed Arkavathy layout. The seven year stalemate in layout formation has also delayed a few infrastructure development projects in potential wards like Jakkur, Thanisandra and Byatarayanapura.

Poor mobility, water and sanitation conditions have also brought down the industrial Bommanahalli and K R Puram constituencies down the civic rank order. They are just midway between a score of 4 and 5. Further down is Mahadevpura that also includes the Whitefield area. It’s dotted with posh villas and gated communities but when it comes to infrastructure leading to these settlements, the rank is just above Anekal! The Hoodi ward that marks the northern limits suffers heavily on mobility front, particularly with public transport.

Bangalore South at rank 25, is South only in name. The basic infrastructure conditions seen in many of its wards has it ripped apart from the real, planned South Bangalore. Ironically, almost all wards under this constituency are located in South-East Bangalore, that’s right between the good old South and East Bangalore areas.

Yeshwantpur, the lone member from Bangalore West, is again very different from its namesake ward in the neighboring R R Nagar constituency. Plagued by poor public transport services and high number of fatalities, it has ranked the lowest in mobility, with a score of 4.05.

Assembly constituencies covered in this section, lead a schizoid existence. On the fringes of the city, on one hand, they are dotted with posh houses and prime industrial hubs. On the other, hey are surrounded by harsh roads and poor infrastructure.  After Coming under BBMP, the property taxes have increased but even the wait for decent water supply and sanitation has proved to be unending. However, these areas are now increasingly occupied by people who don’t depend much on local governance as they have the money to manage their own comforts. But for how long and what about the rest of the populace?   

It’s very evident now that all the low scorers in the city on this patrol are the newly added areas located on the outer proximities of the city. These are areas that didn’t see much planning as they grew helter skelter. Even now, the concern is almost entirely on fund allocation. There has been very little progress on the implementation front. This is evident on seeing many projects announced and r progressing at a snail’s pace over the years.    

It’s a perfect unity despite the diverse locales. All these assembly constituencies are far away from each other. But, what binds them together alongside a sub 5 score is the pathetic road surface and poor public transport. The fatalities on these roads are naturally very high. Frequency of public transport isn’t a subject that’s even debated having been given up for good. Though most are located near a prominent railway link it’s of no use of the people as there are no proper suburban rail links yet.