BENGALURU: The potholed roads of the city are in the news, but Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials have decided to wash their hands off the responsibility to fix them and chose to blame on rains.
The then BBMP administrator T M Vijay Bhaskar had said last month that he was not satisfied with the condition of the roads. “Ideally, pothole filling should have been done by end of April, that is before monsoon. After I took charge, it took some more time to call for tenders for agencies to fill potholes. By the time, tender was finalised, it started raining. Therefore, pothole filling was not done as per expectation. It was delayed,” he said.
Mayor Manjunath Reddy said the BDA road where the fatal accident occurred on Thursday did not fall under the BBMP’s jurisdiction. He blamed the BDA for not handing over roads to BBMP for maintenance. BDA roads have potholes, do not have proper medians and do not have footpaths, he said.
The mayor said he has deputed executive engineers and chief engineers to fill potholes day and night. “I have told them not to come to office or take office vehicle without filling potholes. The officials, in turn, told me that it was raining and so it was difficult to fill potholes. Even if they fill it, it cannot sustain for long,” he said.
The mayor said he will be inspecting roads and potholes on Wednesday night.
The Mayor said that during the administrator’s time, over 53,000 potholes were filled and `23 lakh was collected from the contractors, who laid roads.
Traffic expert prof M N Sreehari said it was the BBMP’s responsibility to give better roads to its citizens. If roads are unscientifically constructed, potholes will emerge on the surface, posing threat to vehicle users. “If roads are scientifically laid and better construction material is used, there is no question of potholes. Why no potholes are seen in the other countries?” he asked.
Sreehari added that even filling up of potholes were not done as per procedure. “Potholes should be cleaned to their depths before they are filled up. Tack coats (thin layers of asphalt product) must be applied. Later, a mixture of gravel with sand and cement should be filled in two layers. At the end, it should be given sealing coat. But BBMP authorities just use sand and broken brick pieces to fill potholes, so they reappear after one rain.”
September 3, 2014: Two BDA engineers and a project-in-charge manager were arrested by the Bangalore traffic police on the charges of bad road maintenance. On September 3, Ravindran (32), a techie, and his wife Ramya (27) were killed while the cab driver was injured in the mishap on Outer Ring Road in Devarabeesanahalli near Ecospace tech park. Police booked AEE K Sripad Raju and AE Pradeep from the BDA and project manager Vittobha from Simplex Infrastructure Private Ltd, to which road maintenance and the project work had been outsourced.