New Delhi: Karnataka’s capital city Bengaluru, which was once famous as the Silicon valley of India, is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. In recent times, Bengaluru has become famous for its crumbling infrastructure.
Motorists and commuters alike each and every day face one major problem while travelling to work or elsewhere in the city – the pothole-ridden roads. These deathtraps have become a nightmare for its residents everywhere in the city. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike or BBMP, the city’s civic body, responsible for maintaining roads in the city is blamed for laying substandard roads and failing to repair the city’s numerous potholes.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had recently instructed officials to fix potholes within 15 days on its 751.41- kilometre long roads in Bengaluru city. India Ahead did a reality check to find out whether the BBMP took the CM’s instructions seriously, however, it turned out quite the opposite. The BBMP had temporarily repaired potholes in many parts of the city, but many potholes were still found in the Central Business District of Bengaluru.
Bengaluru’s pothole horror
South Zone: 64 potholes, 453 broken footpaths
East Zone: 52 potholes, 1097 broken footpaths
West Zone: 77 potholes, 1131 broken footpaths
Yelahanka: 22 potholes, 238 broken footpaths
Mahadevapura: 65 potholes, 1k broken footpaths
RR Nagar: 91 potholes, 487 broken footpaths
Dasarahalli: 6 potholes, 107 broken footpaths
Total: 437 potholes, 5k broken footpaths
*source: Legal Service Authority survey
KPCC President DK Shivakumar slammed the Bommai government and alleged widespread corruption in the municipal body. “The entire government has failed in all aspects. Law and order have failed. They couldn’t cover up potholes and haven’t compensated covid victims. The contractor association president has alleged that they have to give 40 per cent commission. Bribes have to be paid to MPs. The government has covered up the matter. Even if they order a probe, the corrupt practices won’t stop. They are supposed to order a judicial enquiry, which they won’t.”
When India Ahead questioned Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on why his government couldn’t deliver on time, he remained silent. Activist Peter Samson said that unabated corruption within the BBMP is the reason behind the pothole menace.
“It is very unfortunate and the main culprits are the BBMP. They keep issuing deadlines, one after the other. Even if the potholes are repaired, they get damaged very soon after the city receives rains. It mainly depends on the corruption that exists in the BBMP. Many deaths have been reported due to potholes, cases have been filed in this regard, yet there is no action by the BBMP. As long as corruption is prevalent in the BBMP, the condition of the roads will remain the same,” said Samson.
The Karnataka High Court also expressed anguish over the matter and took strong exception to the claim made by BBMP that it has filled up all the potholes across the city.
A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Suraj Govindaraj questioned the BBMP as to why potholes develop after every rain? What kind of technology is the municipal body using and what procedure are they adopting to fill potholes?
The Court also directed the Chief Engineer of BBMP to be present before the Court on the next date of hearing, which is scheduled on February 7, 2022.