BANGALORE: If the political leadership is the mirror of how good a nation should be, then the roads of a city clearly mirrors its progress. Despite the plaudits Bangalore gets for being an IT hub and what not, the city’s roads are truly a mess.
Now, if we are talking about the roads of Bangalore University’s enormous Jnana Bharathi campus, then some heads in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) should definitely roll down.
Here’s a funny anecdote: Union Minister of Culture, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Selja Kumari was in the Jnana Bharathi campus on April 13 to lay the foundation stone for the first Bangalore centre of the National School of Drama. In her address, the minister rambled on about the city’s development streak, progress, infrastructure and so on. Just outside the venue, however, Selja’s driver was seen manoeuvering her sedan around a huge pothole. Governor H R Bharadwaj, who was to be a part of the inaugural function, gave it a miss and saved himself from a bumpy ride.
The roads of Jnana Bharathi have been in the news since July 2011, when Home minister R Ashok along with Bangalore University Vice-Chancellor Dr N Prabhu Dev initiated the reconstruction work of four lanes of a 5.46- -km-stretch road. In fact, a bicycle lane was also planned.
Since last week, repair and reconstruction work of the roads have made a slow beginning. B C Mylarappa, BU Registrar (Administration) told City Express,“The works have resumed. An engineer from BBMP informed me with all the details of the works. I have also spoken to the BBMP Commissioner who said that the work would be done in 45 days”.
The cost of the works including repair and reconstruction of the roads is estimated to be Rs 11.75 crore from BBMP and Rs 1.5 crore from BU.
“The 45-day-deadline is based on the short-term tenders that were floated for the works to be carried out in the Jnana Bharathi campus. This time, work will be done,” assured a BBMP Assistant Executive Engineer.
What Selja Kumari’s driver faced on April 13 is a routine drill exercise for the students and common public who tread on the Jnana Bharathi roads every day. In September last year,V-C Prabhu Dev, even proposed to make access to the roads passing through the Jnana Bharathi campus exclusively reserved for the varsity.
Well, anyone who traverses on these roads would be desperate to get off them. Cutting off access to public will mean ‘capturing students in a prison’ whose roads are laden with horror potholes and an assurance of a few discs slipping off their backs.