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As roads turn bad, it’s blame game time

BBMP blames BWSSB for not restoring roads, latter blames it on poor maintenance of stormwater drains

Published: 14th September 2017 03:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2017 07:21 AM   |  A+A-

Motorists continue to struggle to negotiate this pothole on Puttenahalli Main Road. Waterlogging only adds to their inconvenience | nagaraja gadekal

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Two weeks of rain has left the city’s roads battered, causing inconvenience to motorists and pedestrians alike. But the civic agencies are busy blaming each other for the sorry state of affairs. While BBMP is blaming BWSSB for not restoring roads, BWSSB is pointing fingers at BBMP for poor maintenance of stormwater drains, which, in turn, damaged roads.

A senior BBMP engineer said, “Till 2013, BBMP hardly got funds for city roads. But since 2013-14, the state government has granted `3,500 crore only for road works such as TenderSURE (which covers 45 roads), white topping (for 30 roads), asphalting and maintenance.” This apart, a tender has also been given to a Canada-based company to fill potholes using Python machines. “In a year, we are given just `5.43 crore for maintaining 440km of road. This comes to `1.23 lakh per road for maintenance,’’ the official added.

The past 15 days of rains had revealed the shoddy quality of road works with potholes opening up on almost every road.“By August end, BBMP identified 4,990 potholes, of which 3,800 were closed. But because of heavy rains, the city roads are damaged again,’’ another senior BBMP official said.
The BBMP has now started reassessing the damage. BBMP Chief Engineer (Major Roads) Somashekar told Express that they have made a list of major roads that are badly damaged. “We have listed 250 major roads, running up to a total length of 580km. There are potholes, damaged surfaces and other patches that have appeared. We will take up these road repairs after the rains,’’ he said.

Somashekar blamed BWSSB and BESCOM for digging up roads. “At least 50 per cent of city roads that are damaged is because of road cutting by BWSSB and BESCOM. Sometimes, they do not inform our officials about cutting roads. Many times they do not even restore the roads, which has resulted in the pathetic condition of roads,” he added.

BWSSB Chairman Tushar Girinath denied the allegations and said they always inform the officials concerned before cutting or digging roads. In fact, he added, BWSSB has closed all the roads in the city. “It is only in the newly added 110 villages in the outer zones that the BBMP is taking up restoration works. We do not have the money to restore roads in these new zones, so the Cabinet had decided to give it to the BBMP. In the core areas, if water is stagnant on the roads, it is because of not desilting the stormwater drains and not due to the underground sanitary lines. If silt is not removed or if there are no drains in an area, water will stagnate on the roads and damage them,” he said.

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