City Pulse


June 10, 2014 By Team ICMYC
Unattended garbage, traffic jams, overflowing potholes, stinking drains, dug up roads dysfunctional street lights….the list is never ending. The complaint list is never proportional to the list of resolved concerns. It has always been the other person’s obligation to fix any such issues. Diffusion of responsibility is soon emerging as a social feature of India. However, we all are invariably responsible too.
Realizing this responsibility, a duo has set out to put an end to such issues instead of cribbing and resolved to bring about a change. Shashidhara H.L, an infrastructure planner for India Urban Space Foundation and K.S Sudeep, an advocacy associate working for Janaagraha, identified such an issue outside their office. Without much effort, the duo managed to close the pothole that was overflowing outside the office compound.
Shashi is employed in India Urban Space Foundation located in UNI building as an infrastructure planner for roads and is a part of Tender SURE team. He has been also working on the design and layout of roads in the city. Sudeep, on the other hand, works in the venue as an advocacy associate for the department of PROOF. He is known to have a track of accurate financial records of the urban planning bodies of Bangalore.
They came across an over-flowing drain while on their way to work. The sight of this mess that blocked the entire lane was a disturbing one. Having noticed for over a week, the issue of over-flowing drain outside UNI building near Vasanthnagar was taken up by both Shashi and Sudeep. They chose to approach the relevant person in charge of management of drains. “A sensible search and a call to the right engineer is how it got fixed at the earliest” said Sudeep.
Sudeep did the same as one would do when faced with civic issue. He called up the top authorities to report the complaint. He called up BWSSB office to complain about the overflowing manhole, but all in vain. “Initially we didn’t get the officials on phone as they were busy and they were on-site inspection when we approached their office. Initial delayed responses was the big difficulty we faced” said Shashi. But this did not let them down as they managed to deal with the issue from the scratch.
They first managed to register the complaint with BWSSB Customer Care and procured a complaint ID. The next process was to find out the respective engineers along with jurisdictional details. On figuring out that this issue falls under High Grounds Division of BWSSB, they drafted and sent a letter with pictures of the spot to the Assistant Executive Engineer of High Grounds Division. After this, the location was inspected and was immediately taken up by authorities to clear up the manhole muck. This also channelized concerned authority to resolve issues related to other parallel lanes and their sewage related issues to be dealt in the next three days. 
“Initially they took some time to respond but a week’s persistence paid off as the concerned authorities successfully managed to set the whole place right” adds Sudeep. Unlike others who would always choose to be on the blaming end, these two have set an example by believing in change. Without much fuss and cry, they believed in the officials and their responsibilities and worked with them to fix the filth. “The authorities address issues based on the severity and urgency and also work hard to keep our cities functioning. But sometimes, the response time may be slow for which we need to be patient and give them the required time frame” is Shashi’s positive take on authorities.
Persistence and a little effort make a huge difference. It does not require a big effort but a small start is required, be it in one’s own locality or near one’s office. The willingness to consider it as a duty is what matters, which is their message for a better living.