BENGALURU: Potholes, slushy stretches and pavements turned into garbage dumps… Double Road in Anjanapura, southeast Bengaluru, is an apology for a street. Residents are upset Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) that carved out their layout has failed to maintain the road, which is a lifeline for them.
The 6.8km stretch links Bannerghatta Road and Kanakapura Road and is the only road for the 3,000-odd residents of Anjanapura to reach the two highways. The residents will stage a protest on the road at 10am on Saturday under the aegis of Changemakers of Kanakapura Road Association (CMKRA), a federation of resident welfare associations.
The protest comes in the backdrop of BDA’s shoddy attempt on Thursday to address Anjanapura’s woes. Residents are particularly miffed with the way the authority’s chairman, SR Vishwanath, held a meeting. “There are 30 RWAs in areas abutting Double Road. None of them was informed about the meeting chaired by the BDA chairman. Whom did they meet?” wondered Abdul Aleem, president, CMKRA.
Residents claim during the pandemic, there were several examples of ambulances failing to reach patients’ doorsteps because of the road condition. “My family members had tested positive. My mother had to be admitted to hospital. But the ambulance driver declined to come till our home, citing the horrible road,” said Ramesh (name changed), a resident of Anjanapura. He finally took his mother in his car till the ambulance, which waited some distance away.
Even cab drivers and food delivery agents are hesitant to use this road, point out residents. Mohammed Imran, a food delivery executive riding a scooter on Double Road, told TOI: “We dislike taking orders from residents of this stretch because there is hardly any road to ride on. There are so many potholes that we don’t know where we may end up falling.”
A cab driver, Manjunath K, said often cabbies cancel pick- ups from this location. “We lose out on incentives but don’t want to risk our vehicles getting damaged,” he added.
The horrible state of the road has forced many people to sell their property and relocate. S Ram, former resident of Anjanapura, sold his property recently as there was no scope of infrastructure improvement in the locality. “We bought the property 20 years ago and built a home but nothing improved. We could hardly get out of home because of the poor roads in the layout. Also, there is no proper water supply,” rued Ram.
Sreepathy Belurjana, secretary and resident of Royal Residency Layout, said local representatives have never paid heed to their demands. “The road belongs to BDA as per the plan, but its representatives are never present at the ward panel meetings to hear us out,” he added.
After the Twitter handle of CMRKA raised the issue, Vishwanath held a closed-door meeting with some RWAs. But CMKRA was not in the loop. “We have sanctioned Rs 25 crore for asphalting the stretch and other work,” Vishwanath said, adding: “Another Rs 40 crore will be set aside for fixing JP Nagar 8th and 9th Block roads.”