In December last year, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had assured Bangaloreans that 230 roads in the city would be developed within six months.
With only two months to the deadline, the BBMP has completed only 48 roads covering 79.96 km while work on another 112 roads on 197 km is under way.
As per a report available with City Express, work on 52 roads on 95.02 km is yet to begin.
In December 2013, Siddaramaiah laid the foundation for a grade separator at West of Chord Road, 10th Cross in Rajajinagar and also for an underpass at Siddaiah Puranik Road junction. Then, he initiated developing 230 major roads (around 400 kms) in the city at a cost of Rs 560 crore.
Why the delay?
Siddaramaiah had insisted that the BBMP not call for tenders for asphalting. “If we call for tenders, it will take another six months to start. By that time, another monsoon would have arrived. I have suggested that the work be given to Karnataka Road Development Limited (KRDL) and a within few months, the state of Bangalore roads will change,” he had stated.
According to BBMP Superintending Engineer (Major Roads) K T Nagaraj, they have not taken up any work due to the Code of Conduct. “Of the allotted Rs 560 crore, Rs 160 crore has not been spent at all. We will take up the remaining works soon and all roads will be developed in the next three months,” he said.
District Minister R Ramalinga Reddy, however, disagrees. “You cannot just take works which are completed. Check for the pending bills. The Code of Conduct has nothing to do with the ongoing works. They were announced and work had started earlier,” he said.
On the road
The BBMP had also taken up development of 45 roads under Tender SURE (Specifications for Urban Roads Execution) including Cunningham Road, Museum Road, Residency Road and others identified as VIP movement roads.
Some of the roads to be developed (widening or asphalting or both) include the Mysore Road stretch from Gali Anjaneya Temple to West of Chord Road (20 per cent progress), Jayamahal Road from Mekhri Circle to Cantonment Railway station bridge (work yet to start), Hegganahalli Road from Sunkadakatte to SSK Bhavan (10 per cent progress) and Uttarahalli Kengeri Road from Uttarahalli Circle to NICE road (10 per cent) among others.
‘We have made roads better’
Nagaraj insisted that developing roads requires several civil works including work on footpaths and drain works.
He agreed that the monsoon may delay the works by a few months. He said they plan to spend Rs 300 crore by the end of May.
Claiming that roads were neither developed nor asphalted for six years, he said, “Roads are better now. I will also go for a city round inspection. Our government did it.”