Pits dug by private companies for laying telecom cables have put residents in great peril

“Watch out for the pits!” has become one of the parting notes amongst people who reside near Whitefield main road these days.

A series of pits dug up along the stretch of this road, for laying telecom cables by various private companies, has meant that residents have to quite literary watch every step.

“These pits have been left open for weeks and three persons have fallen into them and had to be treated. They pose a risk for even motorists as there are no warning sign or lights around these pits,” said Ankali Saini, a member of Whitefield Rising, a citizen-led movement in the area.

Swaminathan, a construction labourer in Whitefield, had fallen into one of the pits, about half a kilometre away from Forum Value Mall. “I was riding my scooter on the main road when a car skimmed past, very close to me, making me swerve left. The open pit was ahead of me and I skidded and fell into it. I managed to get out with some bruises but imagine if my children had been riding with me!” he said.

Following such incidents, the residents took the issue to the police and demanded immediate action. Though some pits have been closed a few days ago, the filling of pits has been poor and haphazard. Mounds of mud are left all along the road. The residents are furious because the private telecom companies have not followed the terms of the contract which hold them (private telecom companies) responsible for repairing the roads and pavements dug up.

The residents are demanding that all safety measures must be taken while laying cables, and the companies take responsibility to clear up the mess immediately after the work is completed.

When contacted, BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan assured that any telecom company violating the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on restoring the road and pavement will be penalised.

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