BENGALURU: AT a time when motorists in the city are having a bumpy ride on potholed roads, risking their life and limbs, some roads including those near Chief Minister Siddaamaiah and Bengaluru Development Minister K J George’s official residences have remained free of potholes. These are among the very few roads in the city which have withstood the recent spells of rain. Road users attribute this to better quality of work on VVIP roads. With heavy downpour over the last two months, many roads have been battered. Potholed roads have even claimed four lives in just about 10 days. Between the spells of rain, BBMP authorities struggle to carry out patch works. But, surprisingly, the rains do no seem to have affected roads which see frequent VIP movement.
“From the Chief Minister to ministers, MLAs and councillors, everyone comes to us for votes, but ignore us later. The roads they commute are maintained well, but the roads we use are ignored. Why this discrimination?” questioned 54-year-old Syed Althaf, an anguished autorickshaw driver. “When I started driving auto three decades ago, the roads were not this bad. Engineers in the city corporation had a conscience, but now they are corrupt and what we get are bad roads where potholes spring up after just one rain,’’ he said. He also pointed out that important roads like Ambedkar Veedhi, which houses Vidhana Soudha, Vikasa Soudha, High Court and government offices, are well maintained. The same is the case with Nrupatunga Road which has been white-topped. On this road, there are the RBI headquarters, government offices and the office of the Director General and Inspector General of Police.
It has wider footpaths, well-planned bus shelters and one pothole. Kempegowda Road adjacent to Nrupatunga Road, too has no potholes till Cauvery Bhavan junction, so does Seshadri Road. Raj Bhavan Road, which was damaged due to road work, has now been restored fully. The North Park Road in Kumara Park East, where Bengaluru Development Minister K J George’s official residence is located, also has residences of PWD Minister H C Mahadevappa and Legislative Council Chairman D H Shankarmurthy. “This road is maintained well by BBMP authorities. There are no potholes. But if we go further, near Shivananda Circle, bad patches have been left unattended for days,’’ a local resident said.
The 1.2km stretch of Kumara Park Road where ‘Krishna’, the CM’s official residence is, is one of the best in city. The 1.2km stretch from Shivananda Circle to Windsor Manor bridge has zero damage. This is one of the busiest roads. “Asphalting was done a year back, but the quality is so good. This has been periodically maintained. Why this decrimination? Do we pay taxes to keep roads well maintained for VIPs?” questioned Mallikarjuna, who works with Hotel Lalit Ashok. A senior BBMP official said they make sure to keep VIP roads in good condition. “The roads in the central business district, which witness movement of VIPs, are maintained well as it may cause embarassment to the state government. Such roads are closely monitored. That does not mean we are neglecting other roads.”