Mandur villagers to boycott polls?
By Ashwini M Sripad - BANGALORE
23rd January 2013 08:00 AM
As a last resort, villagers in and around Mandur are planning to boycott the Assembly elections, if the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) does not stop sending waste to the dumping yards near Mandur. There are two landfills at Mandur village in Mahadevapura constituency.
The villagers, who are protesting for the past few months, have demanded the BBMP to stop sending waste. According to the villagers, ground water is polluted and they are suffering from many ailments. The BBMP, which is yet to make alternative arrangements, is seeking an extension to allow them to send waste. Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar too has intervened a couple of times.
The BBMP has allotted `8 crore for overall development of villages in and around Mandur, including asphalting roads, providing drinking water and organising health camps. In the first week of January, BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah and Health Minister Aravind Limbavali, also the MLA from Manahdevapura constituency, held a meeting to discuss the issues related to sending waste, which ended inconclusively.
Speaking to Express, Shivaji Rao, a farmer, said people from 18 villages— Mandur, Jyothipura, Katagalalli, Bommenahalli, Huskur, Bendinagalli, Kodigehalli, Laguvenahlli, Gundur, Byapanaghalli, Ancharahalli, Bidarahalli, Kamsandra, Kadgollahalli, Bommenahalli, and surrounding villages—are planning to stay away from the Assembly elections. There are more than 15,000 voters in these villages.
“Every time, assurances from the BBMP turn out to be false. For how many days can we tolerate this nuisance? We are living in a pathetic condition and our agriculture lands are becoming unfit to cultivate crops,” he said.
“We are planning to visit each house and convince people not to cast their votes. Some of our villagers are planning to print pamphlets and distribute to all the voters in Mahadevapura constituency,” he said.
Gopal, a resident of Mandur, said they will wait till this month end, and if the BBMP does not stop sending waste after February 1, 2013, they will protest. “We are planning not to vote,” he said.
Sridhara Gowda, another local, said that they will not allow to set up polling booths in their villages. “We will hold Gram Sabha soon. Senior citizens in these villages will meet and if BBMP does not stop sending waste, we have to pass a resolution to not cast vote in the coming polls. Our constituency MLA is a health minister and we are facing severe health problems due to the dumping of waste,” he added.
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