K’taka polls: How collapse of a bridge in Bengaluru’s slum highlights govt’s apathy towards poor
Bengaluru, May 9: On Tuesday, tragedy hit slum dwellers of ISRO Colony, located in Cambridge Layout, east Bengaluru, after the lone bridge connecting the poor neighbourhood with the rest of the city collapsed. The metal bridge was built over a storm water drain, which is again highly polluted.
Along with a couple of people getting injured in the incident, the residents of the slum are now literally "marooned" as they can't use the collapsed bridge anymore. In order to avoid putting a full-stop to their daily activities, the residents, around 4,000 of them in the slum, have arranged wooden planks over the bridge to keep it functional. But it is too risky to use the bridge as the entire structure has badly broken down.
The incident took place when reportedly sitting Congress MLA NA Haris from the Shantinagar Assembly constituency and a large number of his supporters came to campaign in the slum for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections. ISRO Colony slum is a part of the high-profile Shantinagar constituency, one of the 28 constituencies in the IT hub.
The polling for the 224-member Assembly in Karnataka will be held on Saturday (May 12). The results of the highly-contested elections will be declared next week on May 15.
In fact, sources told OneIndia that the controversial Congress leader Haris too sustained injuries in his legs, but he was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital. Haris, who is a two-time MLA from the Shantinagar constituency, is once again trying his luck from his home turf in the upcoming polls.
Speaking to OneIndia, a slum dweller said that the collapse of the bridge is a "divine intervention". "Yes, we are in great trouble as the bridge has collapsed. Children and women are facing a lot of trouble because they are all stuck inside their houses. Men are somehow managing. We don't know when a new bridge will be built. But see the irony, the bridge collapsed when Haris, who did nothing for us all these years, came to seek votes from us. Hopefully, now he understands our problems," said the 60-year-old slum dweller, who did not wish to be named.