Open letter to the BBMP Commissioner on potholes

Bengaluru's deadly dimples

potholes and disintegrating road surface
Potholes and disintegrating road surface. Pic: Meera K

At the recently held BBMP – Work Orders, Budgets and Processes Datajam, a group of citizen volunteers analysed the data available in the public domain. Here are their observations and suggestions on BBMP’s pothole work orders.

To:

Sri. Somashekar
BBMP Chief Engineer (Road Infrastructure)

Dear Sir,

Observations:

We analysed BBMP pothole work orders and citizen complaints about potholes on the Fix My Street app. The idea was to see if BBMP was listening to citizen complaints while planning spending on pothole repair. We found that BBMP was spending between Rs 4 crore to Rs 25 crore on pothole management, according to work orders. But this expenditure was not in the areas that citizens complained about in the Fix My Street App. Data from the app also showed that pothole complaints were most in peripheral areas in the north of the city, the same areas where most road accidents also occur.

map of ward wise potholes reported
Potholes based on BBMP Fix my street app. Map courtesy: OpenCity.in

But pothole work orders were concentrated in wards in the peripheral areas in the south of the city.

work orders largely issued in Bangalore South
BBMP Work orders issued for pothole fixing during 2018-2023. Map courtesy: OpenCity.in

Interestingly, 61% of the pothole complaints were from roads with RoW (Right of Way) < 12m, which are local streets. Potholes were mainly reported on these local roads, but most pothole repairs are reported to be occurring primarily on the major arterial and sub-arterial roads of the city.

In central parts of the city, potholes were linked to some road accident injuries.

map of Pothole v/s injuries
Data gathered from Bengaluru Traffic Police station wise accidents and fatalities, BBMP Fix my street, work orders, etc. Map courtesy: opencity.in

Suggestions

  1. In the absence of data of potholes from BBMP, Sahaya, Fix My Street app, and other such platforms have provided proxy data which can guide BBMP and Ward Committee to prioritise the road related development works
  2. We also request that granular data on the number of potholes be fixed each year and amount spent at the ward level be made public and also shared in the ward committee meetings
  3. Accident related information from traffic authorities should be more granular, attributing to the exact cause/reasons so as to guide the priorities
  4. Since BBMP and the Police Department operate in different administrative boundaries, having point locations of the accident can be important in understanding these hotspots and also relating it to the junction/street design among other parameters leading to these reported accidents
  5. Monitoring the spending of BBMP on civil work should be an agenda item for Ward Committees to enhance accountability and guide their local development.

About us:

We are volunteers who participated in a recent Open City data jam – civic solutions workshop. The datajam was organised by OpenCity, a civic tech project that helps make public data on cities accessible to all. Our goal is to enable citizens and civic groups to have a shared understanding of their city’s issues and use data as a basis for co-creating solutions. At the event on July 15th, we looked at BBMP work orders, budgets and processes.

More about the event can be found here.

(Report compiled by Bhanu Sridharan)

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1 Comment

  1. I stay close to Whitefield – near Hoodi circle – area called Ayappa nagar . Wechave serious issue with the condition of road leading to our community called Renaissance nature walk . Just Opp the community we have school called Diya academy of learning . In the morning time n afternoon time around 3.45 pm there is complete chaos on the road because school buses n other cars cannot speed up due to potholes – complete graveyard . U will reminded of the Fevicol ad in Rajasthan where the vehicle complete disco dance..can u help me take up this matter as no one cares at all for this area . We are in the community of 149 villas which itself is like a small city . I will b very thankful if u suggest measures to improve the road condition upto 500 meters near arch of Ayapa nagar. Thanks. Chandrasekhar

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