BENGALURU: Due to lack of coordination between civic bodies, residents of the upscale Defence Colony have to tolerate about 11 roads that have become dirt tracks. The roads are 5-6 km in length, and there is no asphalt on some of them. Mud has also clogged the drains beside these roads.
On Sunday, residents raised the issues with two candidates contesting from C V Raman Nagar Assembly constituency — Congress candidate and Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj and JD(S) candidate P Ramesh.
A project by Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) to lay sewage pipelines in the colony was started in December 2017, for which the roads were dug up. After the work, the roads were not restored. "The issue is that the project was not a composite one, as asphalting the roads was not covered in it. We were an oasis of a nice residential colony in the middle of a commercial hub, and now we are like a 'halli'. The big joke is that the colony is very peaceful because nobody wants to drive through it," said Vidya Chandy, a resident of the colony.
In addition, the workers laying the pipelines charged several residents extra money to get their houses connected to the new pipelines. When other residents realised this, they approached BWSSB, which facilitated refund of the extra amount from the contractor. Residents only need to pay labour and material costs, for which `3,000-`8,000 was collected, but some residents paid more than `8,000. Currently, the project to restore the roads cannot be taken up due to the Election Commission's model code of conduct being in place.
Ramesh told residents that work on the roads will start by May 30, irrespective of whether he is elected MLA or not. "We are requesting contractors to take up the work. No contractor wants to take up Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike's work because the payment is done after 2-4 years," he said.
Mayor Sampath Raj said the ward councillor Anand Kumar should have taken more responsibility. "I told the BBMP Chief Engineer (East) to use either the Commissioner's funds or mayor funds for the work. As I will be the Mayor until October, it will still be in my capacity," he said. Raj added that he will ask the councillor to approach the Election Commission to take permission for the work to be undertaken before the elections, on the grounds that it was a danger to the public.