BENGALURU: A few pre-monsoon showers and the city’s roads have already sprung dozens of potholes.
Major and arterial roads like the Koramangala-Ejipura road (Srinivagilu Main Road), Infantry Road, Palace Road, Yaarab Nagar Main Road in Banashankari, Old Madras Road and Albert Victor Road in Chamrajpet are dotted with potholes and craters.
The recent rains had led to water stagnation on many roads, resulting in more potholes. As a resident of Koramangala 8th Block put it, “The area near the petrol pump on the Ejipura-Koramangala road turns into a swimming pool whenever it rains. There are many potholes on the stretch. I complained to a BBMP official who directed me to BWSSB to solve the water stagnation problem. They then carried out some work to prevent water stagnation.”
He however pointed out that no work had been taken up to fill up the potholes which had been there for a long time. On Infantry Road too, the potholes are almost always filled with mud instead of asphalt, said Babu C, an auto driver who often plies on the road. “The potholes are a traffic hazard as vehicles have to brake suddenly,” he added.
Baramappa T, a security guard at ‘The Millenia’ on Old Mardras Road said even after the potholes were repaired, they would surface again.
BBMP Chief Engineer (Projects) K T Nagaraj said the main cause of formation of potholes was the digging done by civic agencies like BWSSB and Bescom, and by private firms to lay optical fibre cables. He said often, the agencies which dig up the roads fill them with mud instead of asphalt.
“Other reasons are water stagnation caused by lack of cambering and proper drainage system on the roads. Sometimes, the sweepers choke the drains with garbage,” he added.
Nagaraj said that as per norms, road contractors have a defect liability period of one year and a further maintenance period of two years. In addition, BBMP withholds 5 per cent of the tender amount and 1 per cent as Earnest Money Deposit (EMD), which is not returned to the contractor if he defaults on these conditions.
‘BWSSB to blame too’
BBMP Chief Engineer (Major Roads) B S Prahlad lamented that while BBMP gets the flak for potholes on roads, it was indiscriminate digging by BWSSB and other agencies, and also water leakage which caused about 90 per cent of them. He said, “The digging is rampant, and we’re not able to curb it. And we’re under tremendous pressure, as everyone blames us for roads, but nobody questions BWSSB and others who dig the roads.”