Residents grow crops on mud-filled ‘roads’

While the Chief Minister has promised to address problems in the city’s storm-water drain network and take up pothole filling on a war-footing, citizens remain unconvinced as they continue to struggle with the lack of proper infrastructure.

In frustration, residents of Varthur took to cultivating staples on roads that bear more resemblance to fields, and highlighted their foray into agriculture on social media tagging the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company.

“Residents of Varthur began to cultivate staple food items from the same roads now converted into Agri fields as the basic right of movement has been deterred by irresponsible planning & execution of utilities lines,” said a citizens’ group on Twitter.

Jagadish Reddy from Varthur Rising told The Hindu said that of 205 km of roads in Varthur ward, 165 km had been dug up by various agencies. What’s worse is that while the recent spate of heavy rains have made the situation worse, the lack of proper roads is a problem that residents have been facing for years, Varthur Rising members claimed.

Due to the poor condition of roads, many cabs don’t ply in the area and neither do school buses. The condition has worsened following rains, said Mr. Reddy. “Citizens’ right to movement is hindered. We can’t even step out of our homes to buy groceries. The whole ward is ignored,” he said, and added that on Wednesday, a memorandum was submitted to the BBMP by the residents.

Over the last two months, citizens from various wards have attempted to draw attention to the bad roads in their neighbourhoods by cultivating crops and performing pothole pujas.

In September, over 200 residents held a protest against the deplorable state of Anjanapura Double Road. Protesters had hired a coracle which naviated over ‘ponds’ on the crater-filled road. Others planted paddy saplings in the hope that the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) would step in and address the problem.

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