“It takes lesser time to fly from Bengaluru to Delhi than to go from KR Puram to Silk Board junction in Karnataka’s state capital,” said a protester, indicating what is now a fact, thanks to pothole-filled roads, traffic mismanagement, and multiple other issues affecting daily life in the Garden City.
Demanding the elected representatives’ attention to various issues, including pothole-filled roads, waterlogging, garbage menace, availability of clean drinking water, and traffic mismanagement among others, over 1,500 citizens thronged streets of Mahadevapura on Friday morning.
Dressed in black, citizens held placards and shouted slogans demanding their elected representatives – from ward corporators to the MLA and the MP representing the area – to step down from office “for failing to better the living conditions for the people.”
Zibi Jamal of Whitefield Rising, a citizen group told Indianexpress.com, “Good roads, access to clean air and water, proper streetlights and footpaths to walk on, good drainage systems to keep our streets off floods, proper sewage flows – the long list of services that we demand are not something that citizens have to beg and plead for.”
Students from 4 schools – Deens Academy, DPS, Greenwood High and Inventure Academy joined #MahadevapuraDemands protests held in Bengaluru “out of sheer frustration at the non-existent and slow pace of infrastructure development.” @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/ZlypXQBVI9
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) October 18, 2019
Another protester said that the entire population living in the Whitefield-Mahadevapura areas decided to take to the streets “out of sheer frustration at the non-existent and slow pace of infrastructure development.”
While many carried placards with #MahadevapuraDemands written on it, the campaign soon started trending on social media with many calling out to their elected representatives, including Karnataka CM Yediyurappa and PM Modi.
“Currently BBMP – BJP Most Corporators – BJP MLA (3rd time !!!) BJP @ArvindLBJP MP (3rd time !!! ) BJP @PCMohanMP CM – BJP @BSYBJP Centre & PM @narendramodi – BJP. What is stopping you from acting atleast now? #MahadevapuraDemands #Whitefield #Bengaluru,” a user wrote on Twitter.
— Tinu Cherian Abraham (@tinucherian) October 18, 2019
“If kids have to come down to protest. we have a failed system,” a user commented.
— Aditya (@AdityaR_Dash) October 18, 2019
However, Mahadevapura MLA Arvind Limbavali denied the allegations made by the protesters calling it an “exhibition of their (protesters’) political view.” He said in Bengaluru, “Since I was elected as the MLA of this constituency, a lot of positive development has taken place and all of that is in the record. One may take a look at my social media accounts to find all records.”
As protests continued, the MLA posted details of grants released by the state government for his constituency mentioning that as many as 479 developmental works are ongoing.
The last two governments – Congress government and the coalition government in the last two years- discriminated against the development of the Mahadevpura Constituency which is the highest tax paying constituency. 1/5 pic.twitter.com/Etl4t4KKAK
— Arvind Limbavali (@ArvindLBJP) October 18, 2019
While many demanded rejuvenation of lakes in the area, the legislator added, “Overall development of six lakes in the constituency – Rampura, Kannuru, Kadusoppinahalli, Erappanahalli, Doddagubbi, and Chikkagubbi – will be taken up soon.”
“Traffic is terrible. Average speeds have dropped to 4-6kms/hour in Mahadevapura. We can walk faster,” another protester pointed out.
Other demands raised during the protests included constituting a separate local civic body for better governance of the area, corporators holding regular ward committee meetings, prioritising suburban trains, proper garbage collection and segregation, and a 100 per cent lighting in the area within 30 days.
Soon after the protests concluded at four locations – Marathahalli Bridge, Prestige Tech Park, Bagmane World, and Kundalahalli Gate – a letter drafted to Bangalore Central Lok Sabha MP PC Mohan, Mahadevapura MLA Arvind Limabavalli, and corporators of eight wards covering the area were submitted.
“We, therefore, put forth our citizen demands which are simple – do your jobs diligently as we do. Deliver on your manifesto, empower officials and push performance,” the letter read.