Go anywhere in Mahadevapura, you can see the ubiquitous water tankers. Ask anybody about their key demand from the candidates - you will hear, water, water and water.

The election campaign here seems to be a mainly a two-party fight between the reasonably well-known BJP sitting MLA Aravind Limbavali and his Congress rival A C Srinivas. Most candidates are focussing on road shows, but many voters are still not aware of the candidates. It is a tough challenge for candidates to cover the large constituency, especially the apartments and gated communities who do not give permission for campaigners within their complex.

The constituency

Mahadevapura covers Bellandur ward on Outer Ring Road, Challaghatta till Carmelaram railway gate on the east and Marathahalli and Kadugodi (Whitefield area) Mahadevapura assembly seat is reserved as Scheduled Caste.

Mahadevapura constituency includes the following wards, Hudi, Garudachar Palya, Kadugodi, Hagadur, Dodda Nekkundi, Marathahalli, Varthuru and Bellandur. Incidentally other than Dodda Nekkundi with a BJP corporator, all other wards have Congress corporators. The constituency also includes nine villages outside BBMP limits.

With many new residents moving in the last few years, the voter base has gone up from 2.72 lakhs to 3.66 lakhs, even though many residents have had issues in registration. The middle class do have their disconnect with the local government. especially since a large proportion live inside apartments or gated communities, where amenities are provided within the campus. A good portion are tenants too and find it cumbersome to register showing address proofs.

The only thing we need is water. Everything else is secondary.
- Rajesh Rao

The population somewhat evenly distributed between apartments and gated communities and the erstwhile villages (around 45 villages became part of the BBMP after the amalgamation)

There is a small proportion of migrant workers. Most may not be registered, but some local leaders have managed to register a bunch of them to consolidate their vote base.

The incumbent MLA and his promises

Aravind Limbavali, the incumbent MLA, won by 13358 votes with a 52 % vote share in the 2008 elections. The first time MLA was absorbed in to the cabinet and held the portfolios of health and higher education. His networth of Rs 1.04 crores declared in 2008 has now increased to Rs 4.68 crores in 2013. He mediated between the city and the villagers in Mandur during the garbage crisis.

Predominantly, everything is about Water - water supply (or lack of it, implying near complete reliance on tanker mafia)
- Mukund Kumar

There have been a couple of cases filed by the Lokayukta, one alleging that the MLA favoured DLF builders by recommending to the BBMP to widen the road, and another alleging that the MLA and six others forged documents for candidates to be appointed as lecturers in educational institutions.

Limbavali is perceived as arrogant by many, and has not engaged with the public very often. The Daksh report on MLA performance, gives him a relatively high 6.3 on Traffic Management, 5.9 for sewerage system and 5.4 for restoration of lakes.

Limbavali's advantage may be the lack of visibility of his opponents. Most candidates started campaigning late and are busy doing roadshows mainly. Limbavali who started early, has had time to visit apartments and address public gatherings

Candidates for the 2013 election

Candidate
Age
Party-
Symbol
Total Assets/Liabilities & Cases Details
A C SRINIVAS
Age:46
INC-
Hand
Assets: 86 crores
Liabilities:9.9 crores
Accused in 1 cases
420, 465, 468, 471, 409, 120(B), CC No - 5641 & 5646/2006

acsrinivasa.com
acsrinivasa@gmail.com
B.Com, Business
No. 90, Chokkanahalli, Jakkur Post, Yelahanka Hobli, Bangalore - 560064
Ph: 98451-23673

A C Srinivas is a long time Congress party member. Born in Chokkanahalli, the 46 year old studied in VV Puram college (1984-89)  where he became a student union Leader. He is an active member of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee and has held official positions there and at INTUC.
His experience includes serving as the member and later vice chairman of Kattigenahalli Grama Panchayat, Jala Hobli (2000-2005), and later as President and vice president of the Zila Panchayat. He is married and has two children.

In meetings with voters in apartments, Srinivasa claims he is not corrupt. His assets are thanks to his large property holdings.

Aravind Limbavali
Age:46
BJP-
Lotus
Assets:6.2 crores
Liabilities:48 lakhs
1 case accused
13(1)(C),13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act,P.C.R.No.59/2012,XXIII Addl. City & Civil & Sessions Judge,Bangalore,Dated 15.11.2012,The said Proceedings have been stayed by the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka,Banglore vide order dated 10.01.2013 in W.P.No.51795/2012
arvindlimbavali.com
alimbavali999@gmail.com
Dip in Civil Engineering, Social worker
No. 6, Renuka Nilaya, 9th cross, Annayappa colony, osa Tippasandra, H.A.L. 3rd Stage, Bangalore 560075
Ph:25290215(R), 23380283 (O), 9844076283, 9980076283
In his speeches, Limbavali claims to have initiated development works worth Rs 1356 crores in the last five years. Limbavali promises to provide drinking water and underground drainage to the villages and areas that are yet to get Cauvery water, rejuvenation of Varthur and Bellandur lakes, new roads from Ecity to BIAL, more flyovers, underpasses and skywalks for pedestrians, and action plan to use 270 acres of reserved civic amenity land.
M Manjunatha
Age:52
BAJP-
Battery Torch
  B.A, Government Arts College 1985
Spent 15 years as a constable.
Social worker
Ph: 9945468767
No. 54, Kadugodi Plantation, Bangalore - 560067
Mayur Patel
Age:31
SRC
Ceiling Fan
Assets: 2.8 lakhs

Kannada film actor, son of producer Madan Patel.
Ph: 9945518518
No. 7/31, 2nd Main Road, A K Colony, Dommalur Layout, Bangalore - 560071
P. Muniraja
Age: 40
IND-
Auto-
Rickshaw
 
Ph:  9880804327
No. 233/1, Ramakrishnappa Garden, Halu Bhavi Road, Varthur, Bangalore - 560087
H. Muniyappa
Age:47
KJP-
Coconut
Assets: 64 lakhs
Liabilities:3 lakhs


Business
Ph: 9980423444
No. 244, Kasavanahalli, Bhovi Colony, Carmelaram Post, Varthur Hobli, Bangalore – 560036
Ph: 9980423444
Govardhan N
38
JD(S)-
A Lady Farmer
Carrying
Paddy On Her
Head
Assets: 1.3 cr
Liabilities:1.5 lakhs




Social worker, Post graduate
Ph: 9343789812
No. 66/6, Nallurahalli Village, Whitefield Post, Bangalore – 560066
Ph: 9343789812
N.Venkatesh
42
BSP-
Elephant
  Ph:9902069493
Sorahunase, Varthur Hobli, Varthur Post, Bangalore-560082
Nagesh T
38
IND-
Sewing
Machine
  Nageshthippaiah@gmail.com
Ph: 9341229837
No. 12, Nallurahalli, Whitefield Post, Bangalore - 560066
R L Srinivas
28
IND-
Table Lamp


Ph: 9740401632
No. 270/168, Rampura, Bidarahalli Hobli, Virgonagar Post, Bangalore - 560049

Key Issues

Water is the key issue. Cauvery water reaches a very small proportion of houses, especially since this constituency includes 45 of the 110 villages excluded from Cauvery Stage IV, phase 2.

Untreated sewerage is directly let into the storm water drains which eventually flows in the lakes.
- Vijayvithal Jagahirdar

Much of Mahadevapura is dependent on borewells. Most apartments and gated communities depend on water supplied by tankers. The last two years has seen water table falling so steeply that even independent houses are forced to buy water. Borewells dug by tanker suppliers have started drying up too, so water is supplied now from villages further outside the city down Sarjapur Road, Hoskote Road, Varthur Road etc. As one drives down Sarjapur Road, one can see the signboards for "land for rent". This is an euphemism for renting the plot to dig borewells and extract water.

In many apartments, erratic supply of water has increased frustration levels among residents. The last few years have not really seen any elected representative take concrete action in improving the problem. One key reason is said to be the fact that the tanker water suppliers give valuable support to politicians.

Around 45 villages were merged into Greater Bangalore when the area merged with the BBMP. Many say the former villages were relatively better-governed and better-funded.

Basic infrastructure and amenities should be in place before we get any more malls, high rises, gated communities and commercial complexes.
- Deepa Peck

The area had around 35 odd lakes, but most of these are not in a good shape. Bellandur and Varthur, two of the largest lakes in Bangalore, are extremely polluted. Ten lakes are completely dry, and 15 are heavily polluted, requiring urgent attention to sewage diversion, desiltation and clearing of kaluves. (Source)

Sewerage system is poor. Though most apartments and gated layouts have STPs, other houses and commercial establishments, let out raw sewage into stormwater drains that pollutes lakes and contaminates the meagre groundwater supplies.

The MLA could have pitched for the BMRGA bill but did not.
- Ramesh Sivaram

Khata issues: Many residences are yet to get BBMP khatas, they were built on revenue land. In case of some older properties, documents were lost when properties were being transferred from village panchayats to CMC and then to BBMP as the jurisdiction changed. Many residents were asked by the BBMP officers to pay huge sums for khatas.

Most corporators and MLA Limbavali have promised to help people when requested in public meetings, but only a few have managed to get Khatas the legal way, without paying bribes.

Most residents are new to the neighbourhood - houses built in the last 5-7 years. Many apartments especially face issues with their builders, who have not fulfilled their promises or followed due promises. There are apartments without Occupancy Certificates and residents want MLAs and corporators to help them resolve this.

In his meeting with Chaithanya Samarpan residents at Kadugodi, A C Srinivasa (INC) displayed finer knowledge of the process. Residents explained to him that both BDA and the local Sheegehalli panchayat had demanded property taxes from the homes in the layout and that the owners association was negotiating with the panchayat. Srinivasa said that each home must first get a Khata from the BDA as a one-time measure and then present that to the panchayat. The panchayat would make an entry in their registers with this and then issue it’s own Khata to the owner, completing the transfer from BDA to the local body. 

They leave the dug out area (in roads) uncovered and unlevelled with earth mound occupying good part of the road.
- JP Singh

Roads: Though most roads within the BBMP limits are relatively decent, a better network of roads as envisaged by the CDP are yet to be built.

Transportation: Main roads are reasonably well-connected by BMTC services but not interior roads. With many well-to-do residents, private transportation clogs the roads. Metro Phase 2 is meant to reach Whitefield, but that is still way in the future.

Public spaces like parks, playgrounds and community halls are a rarity, though the middle class is less affected

Garbage may be a city-wide issue, but here contractors use the many empty plots a convenient dump. Apartments and communities may practice segregation, but find it tough to deal with private or BBMP garbage contractors, who have always picked up only on payment for the past few years, inspite of residents paying BBMP's garbage cess.

Deepa Peck echoes most resident‘s thoughts, as she observes,"Things have steadily declined over the past few years as the fragile infrastructure cannot take the load of the burgeoning population.". Will the new MLA take hard decisions required to manage growth in a sustainable way?