Byregowda riding high again?

Bengaluru: One of the gateways to Bengaluru , the Byatarayanapura Assembly segment, the largest constituency of Bengaluru Urban district,  is located  off the road leading to the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA). A hub of IT-BT companies and elite educational institutions, the constituency that came into existence after the last delimitation exercise and boasts of the University of Agricultural Sciences as well, is a mix of  urban, semi-urban and rural.

Agricultural Minister, Krishna Byre gowda, who has represented it twice, is hoping to retain his seat for a third term. But it is likely to be a tough fight between the Congress and the BJP this time as the voters could be looking for a change after a decade of the former. Other parties like the Janata Dal (S) and AAP hardly stand a chance in the constituency. The Vokkaligas and minorities form the bulk of the voters and they seem to be more willing to vote this time as the constituency has seen an increase in  registered voters compared to 2013.

Most here grumble that although it has been almost a decade since the international airport opened nearby, their commuting blues have not been eased by the extension of the Metro Rail. They also have complaints about the  roads,  garbage and water supply. But some do vouch for Mr Krishna Byregowda , saying Byatrayanapura  has developed considerably over the last 10 years. While in the past it did not have proper roads, parks, water supply, or bus stations, today the roads are asphalted, there is regular drinking water supply , efficient bus service and parks, they tell you.

“Today if we have  IT companies and prominent institutions in the constituency, it’s because of Krishna Byre Gowda. We have several companies and apartments ,  the land value has increased, and we have even started getting foreign investment. All this has changed the look of the constituency , which is very modern today,” they say.

But people like Ms Anandi Sharan of Kempapura Agrahara are not entirely happy with their lot.  “Although Byatarayanapura has a nice community, the construction activity is causing a huge mess with several builders  flouting rules,” she grumbles, adding that the noise pollution too has increased. “Although it  should not cross 55 decibels during the day and 45 decibels at night  we record over 100 decibels, ” she regrets.

For those living in the core of the constituency, the incomplete Kodigehalli railway underpass has become a huge problem as the work has been progress for over three years. The rural section has its own troubles owing to the dumping of garbage in its midst, which the locals say is affecting their health  and leading to an outbreak of diseases like chikungunya and dengue.

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