The potholes are back: they’re huge and everywhere

Ranganath D., an autorickshaw driver, has been suffering from persistent lower backache for a week now. His doctor has advised him to rest for at least two or three days.

“I was told that driving on the bad roads riddled with bumps and potholes is the main reason for my backache. I have no other choice and it is an occupational hazard,” he said.

Several roads, including those in the core city areas, are in a very bad condition. Their condition seems to have worsened after the spell of heavy rain that the city received last week.

These include arterial roads such as B.V.K. Iyengar Road, Laggere Main Road, Bapujinagar, Old Veterinary Hospital Road (in Basavangudi), Lalbagh Road, Magadi Road, Wilson Garden, Kanakapura Road, Kurubarahalli Main Road, V. Nagenahalli Road, Sultanpalya Main Road, K.R. Puram Railway Station Road, Kundalahalli Railway Gate, Nagawara Junction and the like.

N. Chandra Kumar, who drives a goods autorickshaw, said that he finds it difficult to transport the goods to their destination because of the poor roads.

“Other than potholes, many road surfaces also have deteriorated due to lack of maintenance. I am always apprehensive of my autorickshaw overturning in one of the huge craters or potholes,” he said. This was also what R. Manjunath, who owns a factory unit in Byraveshwara Industrial Estate in Peenya, complained about. He said that all roads in the industrial estate were in a deplorable condition.

“After the heavy rain last week, even walking on the roads here has become difficult. Most factories here are not able to get their material supplied as the transporters refuse to ply on poor roads,” he said.

Many roads in Herohalli’s Prasanna Layout and Veerabhadreshwaranagar still are not asphalted. “One spell of rain and these roads become slushy. It becomes very difficult to even walk on the road,” Mr. Manjunath pointed out.

Traders in the Central Business District are at their wits’ end because many roads now have developed huge potholes. Sajjan Raj Mehta, a stakeholder, said that several complaints to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) have proved futile. “When we complain to one subdivision in the BBMP, the engineers claim that the area does not come under their jurisdiction. With each subdivision passing the buck, the area has been neglected for several years now,” he said. Even as taxpaying citizens struggle through the lousy roads, the BBMP is yet come out with facts and figures on the quantum of damage wreaked by the spell of heavy rain. BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayana has directed the officials to take up a survey of the 14,000 km of roads in the city to find out the number of potholes. BBMP’s new Engineer-in-Chief Ranga Raju told The Hindu that the zonal engineers have been directed to take up road repairs on priority.

“The pothole filling work will be taken up as emergency work at the ward level. To begin with, the BBMP will release Rs. 5 lakh each to the 198 wards for pothole-filling work this week,” Mr. Ranga Raju said. It now remains to be seen how this usual patchwork exercise will hold up against the rain fury that is expected to unleash in the city during the monsoon.

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