An evening scene from Indiranagar.

Bengaluru city has been mushrooming over the years with little regard for any form of Town Planning and Governance. The fallout of this rapid growth is witnessed most acutely in residential areas of the city. Civic woes abound. Indiranagar was once a pensioner’s paradise and now our existence today is trying to restore some order into our personal lives, thanks to the illegal and reckless commercialisation of our residential areas violating zoning norms left, right and center.

The real estate mafia, an apathetic local administration and a greedy citizen have connived to create an experience that is no short of catastrophic. Over the last decade and more particularly in the last five years, the strident voice of the citizen has rung out against what can only be termed a ‘criminal offence’ targeted at ruining the quality of our personal lives. You will be surprised to learn that the crimes in this prestigious residential area of the city include drugs and prostitution. That’s a heavy price to pay for the administrative negligence we are subject to. Pleas and petitions on crumbling civic infrastructure, failing law and order and gross maladministration have fallen on deaf ears.  

Here is a listing of our civic woes:

  1. Crumbling underground sewage systems – laid over 45 years ago these relics are now over burdened with large volumes of waste generated from commercial establishments.

  2. A collapsed Solid Waste Management program and actions.

  3. A police station ill-equipped to handle the volume of the task- thanks to being eternally under-staffed and understocked with required infrastructure.

  4. Pathetic roads and pavements –defying you to walk and risk breaking your limbs.

  5. Poor drinking water and rainwater management.

  6. 95% of commercial establishments in the area without valid ‘trade licenses’ and required permits.

  7. Illegal Commercial activity in Residential Areas in violation of Zoning norms, the High Court and the Supreme Court Orders, with authorities turning a blind eye to it.

  8. Noise Pollution from the Bars and Pubs on 100 ft road & 12th Main till late into the night ruining the residents’ sleep and cops turning a deaf ear to the resident's calls to shut down the music after 10 PM.

  9. Building violations galore.

  10. Streets flooded with vehicles, parking problems restricting access into your own home.

  11. A floating population with crime on the rise and no way to curb it.

… and the list goes on.

We read recently about the plans of the State’s Tourism Department to conduct an ‘Open Street’ program on 100 ft. road Indiranagar on January 15 2017.  Most of us having travelled/lived overseas know this is not a new concept, it is a universal phenomenon which is used to showcase the attractions of a ‘destination’ themed appropriately together with the ‘administration’ to carry it off, often to promote tourism and the business opportunities and provide a platform for entrepreneurship even!    

We strongly believe, the concept of ‘Open Street’ is a very bad idea for Bengaluru and definitely a blow to our efforts for justice over the years in Indiranagar. We respect the Minister, his vision and leadership and mean no disrespect to the idea either. It is just that the city of Bengaluru is not equipped to be showcased and Indiranagar is a standing example of what a lack of civic amenities can do to an otherwise sane neighborhood. It is a farce to disguise this behind the façade of providing walking space for children and adults and a great time on one day when in actual reality their lives every day are a nightmare.

We are surprised that the State’s Tourism department is eager to showcase the heritage of Indiranagar with the pubs on the 100 ft road that are only a recent menace to the local residents. This Open Street festival is in no way ''regaining its past glory and heritage’ as their idea claims.

And most importantly, we the residents of Indiranagar are highly disappointed that the floating population’s need to party and have fun in Indiranagar is at the cost of the local residents who have been living here for decades and the authorities from the BBMP to City Police and the Traffic department are doing little to help us.

We hope that the Government will consider this appeal positively both as a leader and as a citizen who respects the right of another to enjoy his fundamental right, the right to life!