A Township Transformed

A Township Transformed

by Pravir Bagrodia

In the third part of this series, we look at Whitefield through the lens of someone who has witnessed a serene township on the fringes of the city give way to a crowded locality amalgamated into a metropolis.

Bengaluru, 08-Jul-2015: It was her email in March-April 2013 to members of Whitefield Settlers Association that introduced me to Whitefield Rising. I first met her, and her family, soon after moving into Whitefield in 1998. She played a key role in the 2008 Heritage Walk (see Retrospective1 or R1) and her family is an integral part of the Settlement’s history (R2).

Here are excerpts from a recent interaction with Deepa Peck.

On the improved amenities in Whitefield in recent years:

• Availability of good schools.
• Proximity to shopping centres, malls and supermarkets; one does not have to travel far for shopping, entertainment, movies, etc.
• Cauvery water has been introduced to Whitefield.
• Sewage lines have been laid in some areas—though not yet functional

On the deteriorating conditions during the last decade:

• Tremendous and unprecedented increase in traffic—with woefully poor infrastructure to support it. No visible traffic regulation or monitoring.
• Continuous civic works make travelling on the roads extremely difficult. Civic works either take months to be completed or do not get completed at all.
• Accumulated garbage and black garbage spots. Cursory street-cleaning done only on Main Road. None of the inner/side roads are ever swept.
• Severe pollution: from traffic fumes and dust; unregulated sewage flowing freely into stormwater drains; severe pollution in lakes.
• Depletion of groundwater table due to unchecked drilling of borewells.
• Depletion of green cover—unchecked by government bodies even when brought to their notice.
• No clear demarcation between commercial and residential spaces.

And the contribution of Whitefield Rising to the locality:

WR is the best thing that could have happened to the area. In the early days, it was the residents (through the Settlers Association) who governed Whitefield and took collective decisions regarding the welfare and well-being of their neighbourhood. WR has brought back that sense of community and belonging. WR’s collective sense of civic responsibility and ownership has made a big impact in a short time.