On September 1st 2010, local daily newspapers reported that BBMP Commissioner H Siddaiah had issued a circular to zonal joint commissioners to fill all potholes in the city within a fortnight. Each ward was given Rs 1 lakh for this purpose.
On September 15th, the deadline came. And went. But potholes continue to remain.
In south Bangalore’s Kengeri (Ward 159), Corporator R Anjanappa (BJP) says they have completed work only to an extent. "Rs 1 lakh is too little money for us to fill all potholes…there are still many potholes to be filled", he says.
Suresh Devathraj, an engineer in the same ward, says they would try to finish filling potholes by next week.
Panning east, the situation is entirely different in Garudacharpalya (Ward 82) in Mahadevapura Assembly Constituency. "No work has been started here. The funds allotted by BBMP have been withdrawn and they are in the process of issuing tenders now for filling potholes, so there is no question of deadline of 15 days", claims corporator N Pillappa (Congress).
However, BBMP Mayor S K Nataraj denies withdrawing funds and says the ward Assistant Executive Engineers (AEE) are responsible to monitor complete the work.
The BBMP Commissioner may have given his directive to fill all potholes in the city in 15 days, but local engineers and corporators explain the practical problems they face while implementing the work, clearly indicating that a 15-day ultimatum may not necessarily work to make the city pothole-free.
K R Puram AEE, Narayan K says they are still in the process of "identifying" potholes. "We are currently working in Devasandra area and the funds allotted are far too small. We will try to finish the work in another ten days and request more funds later. We could not deliver on time due to rain which is worsening the roads further with more potholes", he says.
BBMP Joint Commissioner (Mahadevapura zone) Shivabasavaiah says filling of potholes is a continuous process. "There are a large number of potholes. Our engineers keep looking for them and filling them", he says, adding, "A drive like this will not fill all potholes. Tomorrow rains will come and more potholes will be created."