BENGALURU: Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials are hoping that the Python-5000, a pothole patching machine imported from Canada, will help them fix potholes. Experts, however, say it may not be of much help.
A day after District-in-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy held a review meeting with various stakeholders on potholes and set a deadline to fix them, BBMP officials are asking for more Python 5000 machines so that they can complete the work fast. A senior official in the BBMP said in 2013, Chief Minister Siddaramiah had introduced the machine. American Road Technology and Solutions Ltd (ARTS) was given the contract for six packages.
ARTS officials, during the launch, had claimed that it can fill potholes, along a stretch of 3,000 km a month. It has the capability of filling one pothole in 4 to 5 minutes. ARTS officials had stated that they need at least Rs 3.5 crore to import it from Canada, including Customs charges. But BBMP officials said they could not make advanced payment to the agency to get vehicles from Canada. This is why city could get only two out of seven required machines.
“According to the contract, we have to pay Rs 72,000 to Rs 89,000 per kilometre per year for various stretches. Work though initiated in March 2013, at some roads began only in November 2014. One cannot expect to fill all the potholes at a 800 sq km strech with just two pythons,” he said.
Now, BBMP officials are planning to get more pythons. “Now that there is BBMP Council, the proposal will come before the Standing Committee for Major Works and then to council. We are hoping they will approve and we get another five Pythons,” said a BBMP official. But BBMP engineers are skeptical. “These pythons are ideal for small potholes and not craters,” said an engineer. As Pythons are huge as lorries, it is ideal for bigger roads.