BENGALURU: Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy on Friday tried to defend the state government from the criticism heaped by BJP over the condition of roads, stating that impact of the incessant rains were comparable to those of natural disasters.Addressing a press conference, he said that the rains were comparable to the problems faced in Mumbai and Chennai, except the rains here have continued for a longer period.
“From August 15, we have received rain for 46 days. It is almost comparable to a natural disaster. When such is the case, political parties should work together and solve the problem rather than pointing fingers. It is not right on the part of Yeddyurappa to criticise us. Instead, he should have directed his MLAs and corporators to work in their constituencies,” he said.
At the same time, when asked if he called the BJP city representative for a meeting to discuss rain related issues, he dismissed the idea saying, “We will not talk to them. They have 12 MLAs who have all been allotted sufficient funds, as MLAs or MPs. Let them go and try to solve it.”
He contended that they had only spent `1,750 crore on BBMP works like laying roads, whitetopping, TenderSure and other road related works from 2013 to present. “A total of `3,750 crore had been allocated and out of this `2,000 crore still remains unsued. We have not spent `4,000 crore on fixing roads and potholes as is being alleged now,” he added.
Asked whether contractors who had carried out substandard works would be blacklisted, he said Bengaluru Development Minister K J George would be doing so shortly.Interestingly, Ramalinga Reddy is said to have been specifically told by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to address the press conference and sources said he arrived early in his office and looked at nearly 150 files related to road works.