Rain worsens pothole-ridden and dug-up roads


Several bad stretches in the city are said to be the result of digging by various utility agencies, including BWSSB

Traffic on the city’s roads has increased since more relaxations came into place, but the condition of the roads are turning out to be a nightmare for those who are venturing out. As if potholes were not enough, the recent heavy rain has contributed to the further deterioration of many city roads.

Mysuru Road, Dinnur Main Road, Serpentine Road, Seshadripuram 1st Main Road, Margosa Road, Banaswadi Main Road, K. Narayanapura Main Road, Hennur Road, and Kasavanahalli Road are only some of those that have been rendered unmotorable.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials claimed that heavy rain had affected the road surface in many places. Several bad reaches in the city were the result of digging by various utility agencies, including the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). Senior officials of the road infrastructure division claimed that nearly 70% of the city roads were pothole free, while over 20% had been dug up by various utility agencies and remaining were bad reaches where road works were under progress.

Citizens, however, do not want to buy that argument. D. Ranganath, an autorickshaw driver, said that roads in Nagawara, Hegdenagar, and Chamarajpet were particularly bad. “We have to exercise a lot of caution while driving. Due to poor condition of roads, mechanical components get worn out often and need to be replaced,” he said.

Concurring, Litta Jacob, a resident of K. Narayanapura Main Road, said it takes more than 15 minutes to cover a two-km stretch. “First, the road was dug up to lay optic fibre cables and then BWSSB dug it up to lay pipeline. The roads are unmotorable with ditches on either side. These ditches have not even been barricaded, which poses a danger to pedestrians and motorists alike,” she said.

Residents of many localities in Bellandur are at their wits end. For more than two years, the roads here have been dug up for laying drinking water and underground drainage pipelines. Vishnu Prasad from Bellandur Development Forum said even the roads recently restored have worn out again and need repairs.

“We have been complaining to the BBMP about the poor condition of roads in the area,” he said.

The situation in Kalyan Nagar and Banaswadi is not very different. According to Ashok Betraj, a resident, white topping work that is in progress and ongoing pipeline work by BWSSB had inconvenienced motorists and residents. This was resulting in water logging following even a small spell of rain.

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But BBMP’s Engineer-in-Chief M.R. Venkatesh told The Hindu that most bad reaches on 474 roads measuring nearly 1,400-km, mainly arterial and sub-arterial roads, had been attended to. He also said that the major roads division had floated tenders for labour contract for each Assembly constituency in the city. “The technical bid will be opened shortly. Once work orders are issued, the hot mix from the plant will be sent to the zones from where the contractors can pick it up to repair stretches in the respective Assembly segments,” he said and added that around 1,300 km of roads were under the defect liability period. This meant that contractors will be responsible to maintain the roads until the end of the DLP.

Court direction

The Karnataka High Court has, on several occasions, castigated the civic body over the poor condition of roads. Earlier this year, the court directed the BBMP to survey all roads, identify potholes and fill them by March 31. More recently, BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad, after visiting the hot mix plant at Kannur, said all potholes would be filled within 15 days. Though the deadline is now long past, the potholes and bad reaches remain across the city.

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Sagar Biswas

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