Bengaluru: Here, residents slumming it out

Bengaluru: For a constituency represented by Housing Minister M. Krishnappa, popularly known as 'Layout Krishnappa' (he set up several residential layouts in the city) it's an irony that Vijayanagar assembly constituency is home to hundreds of slums. These slums are located in Kempapura Agrahara, near Gali Anjaneya Temple, Bapujinagar, Hosahalli, Attiguppe and others places leaving civic officials grappling with a host of serious problems. 

Drinking water shortage, flooding in the monsoon and overflowing of sewage water into residential localities during a heavy downpour -Vijayanagar has them all. Houses adjacent to Vrishabhavathi river valley at Gali Anjaneya Temple, Deepanjalinagar, Padarayanapura and localities near Byatarayanapura satellite bus station and KP Agrahara are most prone to flooding.

Mr Nadeem Ahmed, a resident of Padarayanapura complained that they are in the same state as they were many years ago. "Whenever it rains, Vrishabhavathi valley overflows and water enters our houses. Till the situation returns to normal, we temporarily shift to our neighbours' houses at Kasturbanagar", Mr Nadeem said wondering why the government had failed to find a permanent solution to this problem for so many years.

"I do not know when the stormwater drain and secondary drains were desilted last. There is no proper garbage collection happening in the area either. Residents randomly dump all their waste into the drains choking them" he added. 

Slum dwellers lamented that the historic Gali Anjaneya Temple too is not spared and when it rains heavily, the temple gets flooded with sewage water. Residents of the slum pockets also complained that the drinking water supply to them is neither regular nor sufficient. "We receive water just for one hour or a little more. How can all the households in the area fill water in that short time" complained Ms Vijayalakshmi, a resident of Gali Anjaneya temple ward. Majority of the houses depend on Cauvery water supplied for domestic purposes as they do not have borewells, she said and added that this ultimately ends up in fights while filling water. 

With the railway lines running through the constituency, people staying in KP Agrahara, Padarayanapura, Attiguppe and Hampinagar face a lot of problems as space next to the tracks is used for illegal activities. There are mini dumpyards to dump garbage and concrete waste and miscreants even set fire to the waste creating commotion all around. Anti-social elements also use the area to booze and gamble and open defecation too is a major issue, the residents explained.

What has come as a silver lining in the horizon is Namma Metro connectivity to the western parts of the city including Vijayanagar providing much-needed relief to commuters. "There are no more maddening traffic jams nor are we forced to wait at the traffic signals braving the rain, we can opt for the Metro to travel to office and back," said Ms Sheela, a resident of Attiguppe.

There are other minor irritants too- the stretch from Mysore Road Circle connecting Vijayanagar Pipeline via Padarayanapura is very narrow. During peak hours, vehicles crowd this route while rushing to their destinations creating bottlenecks, said Mr Sadiq Pasha, a resident. Narrow and pothole-ridden roads in some localities, the stray dog and stray cow menace are some of the other issues in the constituency. 

Housing minister and Congress candidate for Vijayanagar assembly constituency Mr Krishnappa was not available for comment.  

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