April 24, 2011


Friday last, it rained  heavily. So heavily that it was over 100 mm in just a few hours. When the average rainfall per annum in Bengalooru being 900 mm, this 100mm downpour in a couple of hours, virtually opened up the skies and obviously resulted in many difficulties for the people. The low lying areas, and the places where the passage of major drains are usurped by residents themselves, have their problems augmented by notches.

It was 6 00 am when I left home to Domlur yesterday where there are many such low lying areas. Clogged drains brimming with sewage water had inundated the houses of  those hapless people. Local corporator smt Geeta Srinivasa Reddy accompanied me, and so also the team from BWSSB, BBMP and the fire force. That was a pathetic state of affairs. I pepped up BBMP, Fireforce, BWSSB... workers to hurry up and clear the sewage water out of the place. Another Corporator Mr Gowtham Kumar took me to his area, Jogupalya where the UGD system had developed complications. It was an immediate decision and immediate steps to contain the problem. I ensured the officers drew plans for permanent solutions immediately. It was over six hours in these areas, that I spent yesterday.

The immediate afternoon, I was informed that the age old wall belonging to Chitrakala parishat on Kumara krupa road had come down and the neighboring old age home has been victimized by the falling wall. I reached the spot immediately with the BBMP engineers and got started the relief work.

Again in the evening, a new 3 floor building under construction had caved in at Ramachandrapuram, near Okalipuram .When I reached there the local MLA Mr Dinesh Gundu Rao was also there. The builder for the reasons best known only to him had put up 2 new floors over an age old ground floor building, which was absolutely wrong and had resulted in this collapse. Fortunately, no life was lost.

As I have been making it a routine to attend complaints at BWSSB call centre in a bid to instill some seriousness in its working, I was at BWSSB call centre (control room) yesterday too and sat there for over forty-five minutes monitoring the complaints.By then it had already started raining heavily.

It was around 6 40 pm when I came to know about the collapse of the compound adjacent to Freedom Park. Rushed there. Learnt that over 8 cars were beneath the rubble. Rescue operation was on. The huge gathering was a hindrance to the operation. Police were pushing the onlookers away, but the crowd was jostling forward to have a look at the scene.

While I was instructing officers, one person rushed to me anxiously to disclose that his Engineer Friend was inside the car beneath and till few minutes back he was responding to the mobile calls, but now it had stopped too. He was his eyes full of  tears, and asking innocently if  his friend could still be alive. Oh! I was struck by his agonized pleadings. Just when I asked the rescue operations to be braced up, the top of the car was cut open by the operators and there, his Engineer friend was sitting in the driver seat, BUT, dead. This friend was inconsolable, and it moved me. When the body was lifted from the driver's seat I could not bear the sight and moved to the periphery.

Immediately a lady came running, crying all the way loudly. I really thought that she should be the relative of the demised engineer. NO. SHE WAS N'T. Her anguish was because; her newly purchased car through her hard earnings was under the rubble fully damaged. She was uncontrollable too. I tried to console her saying, that she can purchase a new car as she can get insurance help whereas the dead engineer will not come back and how relatively lucky she was. But that could not console her anyway. She continued with her sobbing. Yes, one can understand her agony as she had purchased the car after lot of savings as she had dreamt for it long. But her crushed car was all the more important thing than any thing else for her  including the tragic death next to her.

Again in the meanwhile, another person came rushing to me to complain that in front of his shop/office that is a situated on the other side of the mishap spot there is a lot of silt in the drain to be cleared immediately. His grouse was that the Corporation gang men were fully drunk and refusing to clear the drain. I told him that it will be attended to immediately after clearing the rubble to see if any more persons are beneath. To my utter surprise, he was saying clearing the rubble might be done later after his complaint is attended. No logic, no reasoning could convince him. He went away in a huff.

Yes. For that friend, who lost his chum,  that was the heart rendering moment. For that lady, the new car under rubble made her genuinely cry. For the shop owner, that was an opportunity to get his things done, come what may.

That is life. 

However, the civic authorities cannot shirk. The sheer negligence or show of irresponsibility should stop now. The late little Sanjana could not wake us up. Prakash, the demised Engineer is now trying. These things should not continue any longer with the same infamous complacent attitude, which has resulted in many inhuman tragedies. I will start the correction process immediately for sure.


April 19, 2011


RAIN WATER MANAGEMENT, SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT and SEWAGE TREATMENT  are the buzz words in today's urban life. Government awaits People's participation and people look forward for the implementation by the Government. Community participation is at many times defined as the essential basic element for today’s India and it is more or less so. One eagerly waits for the day when the twain meets.

Yesterday, a team of youngsters proved that they are different in many ways. They were not complaining, neither negatively analyzing nor picking up holes.

With the new upraise of the gated communities where there are absolutely strict controlled entrances for the outsiders, one gets to see many common interest developments. While I had my own views of these kinds of secluded heavens, it was an experience of a different kind when I had been to one such wonderfully managed hamlet yesterday! 

RB Residency, Chinnasandra Village, Bangalore is almost 16 kms from the heart of the city on Sarjapur road where some really enthusiastic youngsters are managing their locality for over ten years now. These youngsters name this as a Sustainable community and they are so very self sufficient that the civic values they have inculcated in their area is something infectious and worth emulating. They say “seeing is believing” and I tell you this one is for sure. 

The township with over 350 plots has around 150 villas already built and occupied. They have come up with a captive sewage treatment plant in a corner of the layout which treats roughly over 135000 liters of sewage in a single day. This treated water is used for gardening which also supplements raising water table. They segregate garbage too. Segregated garbage is sold and earned as revenue to the resident welfare society. 

To top it all, these youngsters are running rainwater harvesting successfully since 2004. Community level rainwater has jackwells for percolation of water too. You won’t believe, when the ground water is so depleted around, in this tiny hamlet, with the hard efforts of rain harvesting for over six years, there is a perceivable raise in water table- now just at 550 ft, they get the desired water underneath the ground. They get potable rain water. They run their swimming pool also through the rain water that they harvest. All the residents are living on this harvested water only.

They don’t depend much on the establishment at all. They are so self sustained, have spotlessly clean roads, sufficient potable water as well as the treated water, power facilities et al, the biggest strength lies in their common civic values. 

These youngsters had met me sometime back with an intention to lend their story of success to the society. They believed they owe something to it. The lakes around HSR layout have been taken up for rejuvenation by the civic agencies. These youngsters have prepared a blue print of how these lakes need to be rejuvenated. I paid a visit to all the lakes around the area with the Chairman, BWSSB in a bid to ascertain how helpful it would be if a proper rejuvenation process is in place along with community participation. 

If this kind of active community participation is emulated elsewhere in larger localities, (not to mention the gated communities alone) I believe we will be in for a revolution happening in the civic arena of the city. Bangalore will surely live up to the international standards. Government would surely chip in to help those who come forward to participate in such endeavor.


April 18, 2011


On Sunday yesterday, It was a get-together with a real difference. My MLA friend from Tiptur made it possible for me to savor the flavor of this rare event.

The Tiptur Boys High School was started in 1925 by one Sir Albion Bannerjee. That is, 86 years ago. Our friend MLA with his friends organized a get together of all old students, in which over 300 old friends came together.

Even as I entered the venue, the name of the event 'NENAPU' (remembrance) many seniors came to me and started introducing themselves as 1954, 1961, 1949......, instead of telling their names. They were more keen to introduce through the years of their respective batches.

On the platform with me were two students from the First batch. Both were centurions. One of them was the first MLA of Tiptur.

I went around the classes of the school building which was fully constructed within a year of laying foundation stone and even today is in reasonably good condition. A lesson for today's administrators and contractors.

After formal inauguration, it was time for the old students' nostalgic journey. The opening batsman was Sri Alhaj Dr II Abdul Hameed, who has a doctorate and who is a Hindi Vishard-Vidwan. He narrated his journey in 1954 with his father to get admission in this school. He belonging to a poor family had to walk 45 miles, seeking alms in villages. Thanks to the excellent academic atmosphere in the school, he could succeed in studies. Donations started pouring, ranging from 25,000 to over a lakh.

To remember and relish their student days again, the 'students' were treated with ice candies. It was a get together that brought out Bon homie, emotional bonding. Absolutely there was no airs about the status. This programme aptly called NENAPU will remain well etched in my memory for a long period. Thank you Nagesh for giving me this glimpse of a great nostalgic trip.

April 16, 2011



This is a new write up that has appeared in Kannada Prabha of 16th April 2011. Let the  enjoyment of reading be yours!


April 02, 2011

The banality of the Indian cricket fan

This may appear an Anti-Indian piece. But I feel it is an hilarious article with grains of truth. Aakar patel is a writer with a rare insight, whose articles have always amazed me. Can you please read the latest that appeared in today’s “Mint”.