Indiranagar residents protest on 100 feet road against illegal commercial activity
#nammabengaluru, #unitedbengaluru, #dontpollutemyneighbourhood
On 11th March 2017, residents of all ages, babies to senior citizens, went on a peaceful protest march on 100 feet road starting from 6th Main towards CMH road. They walked with lit candles, catchy banners and spunky slogans for about 1.5 hours from 8 pm to 9:30 pm.
Their slogans were “beke beku, nyaya beku”, “pub beda, footpath beku, nidde beku, shanti beku”, “footpath is for walking, not for parking”.
Why did well-behaved residents who have been living here for 40-45 years walk on the broken footpaths? To get the story, I joined them and followed the event as it unfolded and gleaned the following.
Illegal commercial activity has mushroomed on 100 feet road and by-lanes which is against the current laws and the high court order. Notices have been issued by the high court but the issue is enforcement because commercial establishments do not have trade licenses and are not budging out as they are in cohorts with the BBMP and the excise department.
While only 100 feet road is commercial as per the town planning map on www.bbmp.gov.in, pubs are flouting laws by locating where they are not supposed to, such as near temples and residential localities. Pubs are playing very loud music from rooftops not only till 1 pm when they are allowed to, but even till 2 or 2:30 pm.
Residents say “The pubs wake up when residents sleep. “When are we supposed to sleep?” Residents include senior citizens who are getting inadequate quality sleep and high blood pressure. Even young people are affected as they have to go to work the next day. The state of students who have to study daily and during exam times can be imagined.
Pub visitors are also creating a nuisance in the neighbourhood with their valet-parked vehicles, shouting on streets outside houses, and urinating on the roadside outside homes.
Despite complaining, pub visitors do not seem to care. I asked a few what they thought of the protests. They said they are from outside, they are here just to let off steam on the weekends, and the government has provided them this place to do so. “Pubs are meant to go berserk” said one. They had no sense of accountability, saying it is their ‘liberty’ to do what they want. They perhaps go back and get an undisturbed peaceful sleep after delighting in disturbing the sleep of residents. I wonder what their parents would say if their children did this to them.
The general feeling is ‘nobody cares’ about residents and offenders have the temerity to ask why they are making such a fuss!
One visitor said it is the fault of the landlord who has let out his place to the pub. Another thought it was legal. Yet another asked why residents are still living here!
Yes, Indiranagar was a very nice place once, and a favorite where people want to hang out, but visitors are not welcome anymore as they have become badly behaved and unruly guests.
The situation has become so regular that the police and BBMP have stopped responding to residents’ complaints. Residents have resorted to legal recourse which is in process.
Traffic is a nuisance and the quality of life is deteriorating which has got the whole of Indiranagar rattled up.