patrol beat

Few public toilets, No litter bins - by Sunitha Rao R, TNN

Bangalore, as a city, is much cleaner than many others in the country. But the truth is, it could be so much better. While no ward scores a zero on this standard, it’s a matter of concern that a majority of the wards have to make do with average sanitation services with the situation going downhill dramatically in the newer additions to the city.

Throughout the city one can see unclean roads, lack of public toilets, poor garbage collection, lack of sewerage network in newly added areas of BBMP and an almost complete absence of litter bins on the streets.

Zero garbage zone takes credit!
MLA Dinesh Gundoo Rao’s initiative to make Gandhi Nagar a litter free zone through zero-waste management has been a success as evidenced by less filth on the roads and also by high scores on Bangalore Patrol’s survey. Ward number 84, Gandhi Nagar scores the second rank in sanitation (8.44), second only to the top scoring Kamakshipalya (8.51).

No public loos
In providing a service common man desperately seeks – public toilets – Bangalore fares very poorly indeed. 70 wards out of 198 score zero, implying an almost complete absence of toilets here. Even in the areas where there are toilets, most tend to be poorly maintained. Interestingly, when City Mayor S K Nataraj’s ward Sarakki scores eight out of ten in public toilets, Deputy Mayor N Dayanand’s ward Benniganahalli is one among the 70 wards which scores a zero.

The study also rings an alarm bell on the need to improve sanitation facilities in semi-rural pockets of the like Benniganahalli, Begur, Horamavu, Mallsandra, Bagalakunte, Konanakunte, Anjanapura, Vasanthpura, Bellandur, Suddugunte palya, Mallasandra, Vishwanath Nagenahalli, Dodda Bidarakallu, A Narayanapura, Hongasandra and other villages which have recently attained the status of BBMP wards.

The ward at the very bottom is Horamavu, which scores 3.32 and is begging for attention and resources to help it improve on this amenity. Ward numbered 1, which doesn’t scores too well on any other public amenity, has topped the list when it comes to quality of public toilet. Wards such as Kempegowda ward, Jakkur (where Bangalore International Airport is situated), Kodigehalli, Jalahalli, Radhakrishna temple ward, Mattikere, Hudi, Kadu Malleshwara, Pulakeshi Nagar, Vijnana Nagar, HAL Airport, Vasanth Nagar, Dharmaraya swamy temple, Jnana Bharathi ward and Koramangala have scored nine out of ten when it comes to public toilet.

Jayanagar is divided into two wards: Jayanagar and Jayanagar East. But as per the Bangalore Patrol survey it should ideally be termed as Jayanagar–Bad and Jayanagar-Good for that’s how stark the contrast is between the two areas. As per the survey data, Jayanagar scores an absolute zero in providing public toilets where as the eastern part of the area has secured seven! Byrasandra ward which is situated just beside Jayanagar east also has a zero in public toilets’ quality. The survey conducted on the access to the public toilets reveals that there are 30 wards which have no such ‘basic amenity’!

According to Bangalore Patrol surveyors, there are a minimum of two slums in each of the 198 wards, though it does not match the skeletal number of slums identified by Slum Clearance board. BBMP has neglected the sanitation in slums which contribute to the overall ward score data, they opine.

Though, ward number 165, Ganesh Mandir ward is the number one ward as per the survey, it scores zero on the presence of litter bins. Not just the best ward, but totally 162 wards have scored zero because of absence of litter bins.

Dirtiest roads at Attur
Attur is the ward with the dirtiest roads in Bangalore with a score of ‘zero’ for cleanliness of roads. City Chieftain Kempegowda’s soul must be laughing and crying at the same time looking at the ward named after him. The ward that scores tops in public toilets has absolutely no sanitary lines thanks to BWSSB. Situated at the fringes of Yelahanka constituency it is at the end of the list on cleanliness score too.

They are still villages

37 wards from 112 villages newly added to BBMP have no access to sewerage network! “We have been telling this in council for the past six months. But no one takes it seriously. Despite giving a lengthy budget proposal, the Mayor hasn’t been considering the works that need be done here. Though budget has allotted over Rs 3.5-crore to each of the new wards, no work has begun anywhere. Urban studies like Bangalore Patrol must pressurise the government to release the monies required for our wards,” said a corporator from KR Puram constituency who wished to remain anonymous.

According to DJ Halli corporator R Sampathraj, though his ward has a sewerage network of score 7.21, the pipelines are old and that has resulted in over flowing. “Sewerage water gushes into the houses in low laying areas in my ward. Though there is sewerage network, that is of hardly any use. BWSSB is the most irresponsible department,” he said.

Three cheers for garbage collection:
Though BBMP claims that door to door garbage collection is stream-lined across the wards, only three wards --Vasanthnagar, Siddapur and Arakere -- score a grand 10 in daily door- to-door garbage collection. Wards such as Jakkasandra, Shettihalli, Agaram, and Horamavu score below one point in the same and crave for solid waste management.