BENGALURU: Observing that people still do not have faith in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) because of its inaction, the High Court on Monday chose to avail the services of the army to check whether city areas are really free from potholes as claimed by the civic body and also the quality of work done by it.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice S G Pandit constituted a commission comprising member secretary M G Uma, Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) and Dinesh Agrawal, Superintending Engineer, CWE (Army), Bengaluru, after hearing a public interest petition seeking directions to the civic body for proper management of roads.
Perhaps, for the first time, the army’s services are being utilised to check the genuineness of the work done by the civic body. During the hearing, on a query from the Court, BBMP’s counsel Sreenidhi said work in the some areas such as seven wards out of 44 wards in Malleshwaram, Mahalakshmi Layout in west zone and 4 wards out of 11 in Yelahanka Zone have been completed 100 per cent.
The court then requested the Commission to visit the said areas to find the genuineness of the work and submit a preliminary report on Tuesday. Not just potholes, the Commission should also look if these roads are hassle free or not. After the visual examination, and suggestions if any, the Commission should place the comprehensive report later, the court said while asking the Additional Advocate General A S Ponnanna to inform the City Police Commissioner to ensure proper route management to enable the Commission to accomplish the task.
Meanwhile, the BBMP has indicated that for execution of this work, it has taken the services of GLS Shiva Kumar Babu, Professor, Civil Engineering, Department of IISc and Dr Rajiv B Mallick, Professor, Civil Engineering, Department of IISc. The court said the BBMP may request those experts also to attend the inspection by the Commission.
Earlier, Sreenidhi submitted that about 90 per cent task has been accomplished and the work is continuing because several new/other potholes have been found. Then the court said: “We find it necessary to issue an independent panel for elucidation of several aspects involved in the matter. We have requested Prabhuling K Navadgi, Additional Solicitor General, to request the services of the engineer in-charge of the Military Engineer Services in Bengaluru.”
“We have also requested for the services of MG Uma, Member Secretary, Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, who is also present before the Court”, the division bench said.
‘None can run away from accountability’
“Accountability is a factor. Nobody can run away. Still you (BBMP) have not been able to earn faith. There is a kind of distrust, dejection or disbelief among people about BBMP, which is a result of its inaction. The Measurement Books of the works done may be required for the panel constituted by the court. The court wants to look at MBs,” the court observed during the hearing.