The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) commissioner seems to have sprung into action, especially after Chief minister Siddaramaiah’s ‘surprise’ city tour on September 7, 2013.
Taking the directions of Siddharamaiah forward, BBMP Commissioner Lakshmi Narayana, told Citizen Matters that all arterial and sub-arterial roads in Bangalore will be pothole-free by end of February, 2014. However, citizens have heard such claims and promises many a time in the past.
A pilot project worth 25 lakhs to develop Park House Road in front of Karnataka Public Services Commission office, behind Vidhana Soudha, into a high-quality concrete road, was underway. The project would build a high quality concrete road, and the road will not be allowed to be dug by any of the civic agencies, like BBMP or BWSSB. The pilot project will give way to three major projects of developing such roads, including the road from Mekhri Circle to Basaveshwara Circle, and Kasturba Road, as reported by DNA.
“I will ensure that the roads in Bangalore are free of potholes. The roads will be well-asphalted and will ensure smooth commuting by the end of February, 2014. From the first week of October, just after the south west monsoon showers (SWM) are over, we will start our Rs. 6,000 crore project of repairing all major arterial and sub arterial roads,” he says.
He adds that since Bangalore is not much affected by the North East Monsoon (NEM) showers, which start from October and continue till December. “We will start with the road repair works immediately. We do not want to wait till the onset of summers,” he adds.
But the BBMP doesn’t seem to care much about the forecast from the Indian Meteorological Department, which says the SWM and NEM will bring good rains to the city and state this year. The weather department has forecast good rainfall this year, even between October to December.
Lakshmi Narayan adds: “If it does not rain for 48 hours at a stretch, we can handle and repair a road. But if it does, the work halts. However, I assure that there will be no more bad roads in Bangalore after February, 2014. After that, if there are any problems, people can visit me directly, call up directly or email me.”
He also clarified that the roads where the Metro construction takes place and those around them were the responsibility of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL).
In case the potholes resurface again, BBMP will ask the contractor to redo the entire stretch, if it falls during the defect liability period of one year. The contractor will also be given a notice during the meantime. If the offences repeat, the contractor will be fined and even blacklisted. Here again, blacklisting and fining contractors is also a claim city authorities have made before.
Pothole-free Bangalore in 45 days?
In another development, K J George, the Home Minister, reviewed the condition of city roads and traffic along with Commissioner of Police, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) and heads of BWSSB, BDA, BMRDA and BMRCL. He directed all the related departments to take up asphalting of roads and filling up of potholes on a war-footing. A deadline of 45 days also has been given, says a report from Bangalore Mirror.