The metal rods jutting out onto the road are a peril

For nearly two years now, citizens using a particular stretch along Bannerghatta Road have been putting up with metal rods sticking out from the ground, just a few inches from the footpath.

Located in front of the MICO back gate, this stretch underwent “repair work” after a 220 kV underground cable was laid by Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. (KPTCL) in March 2011.

However, restoration work is far from over. “Just a couple of weeks ago, a two-wheeler rider lost control of his vehicle and fell because he saw the metal rods jutting out a little too late. Children, who play nearby, have also been injured several times due to these metal rods,” claimed Abdullah, who works at the Al Wahaab Tours International shop, adjacent to the footpath. “When the repair work was undertaken, there were many more such rods on the road. Residents of the slums nearby took away the metal rods,” claimed the owner of a bakery on the same stretch, who wished to remain anonymous. The two claimed they had complained about the poor condition of the road and the dangers posed by the metal rods to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the KPTCL, but to no avail. Wing Commander G.B. Athri (retd.) claimed he had contacted the KPTCL at least six times.

“For nearly five months now, I have been trying to get KPTCL to take up responsibility, but to no avail. I am appalled at the careless attitude shown by the civic agency, even though I just happen to use this stretch once in a while.”

Wing Cdr. Athri said KPTCL’s Superintending Engineer D. Kodandapani had even visited the site, at his instance, around two months back. “Yet, the condition of the footpath and road is unchanged. There has been no development since then,” he said. When contacted, Mr. Kodandapani blamed the agency that executed the cable-laying work. “The agency — Deepak Cables — has the responsibility of restoring the footpath and road surface after the work. Many people have approached us regarding this and we are trying to pressure the agency to complete the restoration.

However, the agency claims that it has already received a satisfactory restoration certificate from the BBMP.

Meanwhile, the BBMP officials refuted the claim that they were not aware of the certificate and would look into the issue. Despite several attempts to reach him, Managing Director of Deepak Cables K. Venkateshwara Rao was unavailable for comment. With each agency shirking responsibility, there is no denying that citizens using the stretch are at risk.

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