BENGALURU: Infrastructure experts have criticised the BBMP for “shirking” its responsibility as far as the city’s road infrastructure is concerned. The BBMP had blamed the KSRTC for the death of a 47-year-old woman and a car driver for the death of a man in the two recent road accidents in the city.
In the first case, Uma Devi died after a KSRTC bus ran over her. The accident happened when the two-wheeler she was riding pillion with her daughter, Vinitha, skidded and fell while trying to avoid a pothole.
In the second accident, Arshad from Kerala died after he was hit by a car which overturned while trying to avoid a pothole in Yelahanka.
In the first case, the BBMP stated that as per police records, the KSRTC bus driver was at fault. In the second case, BBMP Commissioner Tushar Girinath said that the car driver was responsible for the death of Arshad. The Palike is not ready to accept the fact that pothole-riddled roads caused the two deaths.
Urban expert Ashwin Mahesh said, “Nobody believes Palike’s statements related to such accidents.”He said the Palike failed in fixing potholes as and when they appeared. “The best way to fix the problem is to give ‘forward contract’. Here, a contractor is engaged in advance to ensure that a pothole or crater is fixed as soon as it is noticed. I suggested this in 2010 to the BBMP.
A traffic constable will identify such spots in his jurisdiction and once the contractor fixes them, a local BBMP engineer should approve the work done. But this suggestion was rejected by the BBMP Council in its very first meeting.” he added. He said the BBMP goes for a “responsive mechanism’’ whereas the need of the hour is “rapid response”. Potholes may cause fatal accidents. The civic body should be held accountable for bad roads. There should be compensation and punitive action for such accidents.”
MN Shreehari, the road traffic expert, said, “Due to bad roads and slow traffic, Bengaluru is losing a revenue of Rs 19 crores (calculated on productive time lost). There is no accountability and projects are not executed in a scientific way. Moreover, there is no proper audit.”