The law-makers’ abode was supposed to be a model for others, but not in Banjara Hills, where a plot demarcated for a park 20 years ago is used for anything but its earmarked plan
If a pungent smell and toxic smoke hit you while driving through Banjara Hills, you can be sure you have reached Road Number 12 of MLA colony. Hazy smoke and a nasty stench is its hallmark.
This plot, near the Venkateshwara Rao Cooperative Housing Society, was demarcated around two decades ago for a garden. As HMDA and GHMC got busy with other matters, the open plot began to invite grass, pests, garbage and urination. Added to it all, carcasses of dead animals can also be found there.
“The park is in my backyard but I am unable to open the kitchen door as stench from some dead animal is overpowering,” laments Mythali Parthasarathi, a resident. “During the day, I see servants from the MLA quarters dump anything and everything there and also urinating. VIPs do not want waste in their homes, you know,” she sneers.
Setting fire to the waste seems to be a great pastime for the servants and rag pickers, complain local residents. They do not understand that burning plastics and synthetics generate toxic fumes and diminish
oxygen in the air. “Who will make them understand,” asks a septuagenarian ex-official.
Some time back, the GHMC park plot was bifurcated. The smaller portion (approximately 1,200 sq yards) is being regularly visited by people who claim to be from the HMDA. Residents feel that there is some underhand scheme is at work to sell the small plot.
During the rainy season, waste water from the park seeped into one of the residences, prompting the senior citizens in the area to seek the help of the GHMC. A wall came up later, preventing water. Recently, the wall collapsed and residents followed up the matter with the authorities. “This shows that the VIP areas like MLA Colony is no different, when it comes to stormwater drains and maintenance,” says Ram Kumar, a senior citizen from the area.
Before the wall was repaired, stormwater from the colony would collect in the park and seep into houses nearby. There is still no proper channel for the storm water to recede.
According to the residents, neither GHMC nor HMDA officials are solving the issue of the park. The smaller part of the park is also filled with boulders removed from the larger portion.
When contacted, local corporator B Bharati said that she would hold a joint meeting of the GHMC and the HMDA to clarify the authority holding rights over the land. “Let the festivities of Bonalu complete. Then we shall sort out the park issue in MLA Colony,” she said.