Bengaluru: 15 years on, no power, water at Arkavathy Layout

Bengaluru: A 70-year-old ailing doctor had to be carried to hospital on foot when the ambulance couldn't gain entry into the 6th Block at Arkavathy Layout. The BDA layout has been at the receiving end of apathy and neglect and 15 years after it was constructed, still lacks basic amenities like roads, underground drainage, water and power supply.

"I had to be rushed to hopsital when I developed a medical emergency last Setember. Although the ambulance was available, its services could not be utilised as the vehicle could not enter the layout, thanks to the absence of a road. A few neighbours saved my life by carrying me to the ambulance," recalls a stricken Dr Lokanandhan. "This is the sorry state of affairs at the BDA's Arkavathy Layout."

Arkavathy Layout

Delays have been a constant feature, failing to provide both water and electricity. Many residents are forced to dig borwells although it is the duty of the BDA to provide a BWSSB water connection and a power connection too. This is done through the provision of infrastructure like poles and transformers. However, residents here pay a premium on water, which they get from tankers. They also pay the highest electricity bills in the city, even more than commercial units. With no infrastructure to facilitate power supply, residents are dependent on temporary power connections which cost a whopping Rs 10.50 per unit, Dr Lokanandhan rued.

Archaic as it may sound, asphalted roads, underground drainage and st reet lights are amenities most people take for granted but to Arkavathy  Layout residents, they remain a distant dream. At least for a few more  years. The repeated pleas of residents have fallen on deaf ears, Dr Lokanadhan added. "Owning a BDA site and building a house is the Bengalurean dream. However, families now regret buying BDA sites because they are so badly maintained and ill-equipped," he said.

Another resident, Jayamurthy, says the BDA erred in denotifying land. "Not denotifying land in the middle of the layout is common sense," he said.
Troublingly, the BDA's Kempegowda Layout is up and running, while Arkavathy, which was developed over a decade ago, is still lacking. "Why the step motherly treatment?" he asks. "Ironically, the BDA has acquired land in different villages but there is no connecting road. Even today, residents have to pass through private land. Luckily, the landlord has not objected to the movement of the public," he said.

When DC contacted BDA commissioner Rakesh Singh he said that its a old layout and denied that it is being by the BDA. Various works at the layout have been tendered it includes road and street lights too. Tenders for Rs. 220 crore has been floated and infrastructure will be provided at the earliest,  he assured.

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