Staff Reporter

Proper coordination among civic agencies called

People say there should be no interference from corporators A single authority for overseeing roadworks sought Constitution of ward committees demanded

BANGALORE: Citizens and citizens' groups should be empowered to monitor all roadworks in their areas without the interference of corporators. There should be proper coordination among all civic agencies before work on any road starts. A single authority should be set up to oversee all roadworks.

These were some of the suggestions made by members of various residents welfare associations to the expert committee constituted by the Karnataka High Court to look into the state of roads in Bangalore at a meeting on Saturday.

The committee, which had convened a meeting of residents' associations to take their feedback on road upgrading, will incorporate all practical suggestions in its final report to be submitted to the High Court by July 15.

Over 35 representatives of various residents welfare associations participated in the meeting and pointed out several issues pertaining to road development. While Doris Raj of Bangalore East Swabhimana Trust (BEST) wanted the committee to recommend punitive action against "hardcore offenders" (who do everything to damage the road in front of their house), Sheila Ladha and Major Kapoor from Koramangala Residents' Association pointed out that lack of coordination among various civic agencies caused damage to newly laid roads.

Major Kapoor suggested that a single authority should be set up to monitor and look after all roadworks in the city. "The 80 ft. road in Koramangala was dug up by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) three days after it was asphalted. We have more infrastructure beneath the roads than above them. If there is a leakage in my water line, it is inevitable for me to get it repaired. Proper coordination between the civic agencies is a must before work on a road starts. Even after the road is done, there should be every opportunity for maintaining and repairing the infrastructure below the road," he explained.

Wing Commander M.R. Shirazi, who heads the Citizens' Welfare Association of Richmond Town and Langford Town, demanded that the Government constitute ward committees in all the 100 wards so that the roadworks were prioritised. "Citizens and not corporators should identify the roads that need urgent attention. This can happen only if ward committees comprise residents and not politicians," he said.

While Cyriac Joseph from Cooke Town wanted the Government to publicise the achievements of corporators during elections so that people could judge properly before casting their votes, Nagesh Rao from BTM Layout Welfare Association wanted the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike to upgrade parallel and alternative roads before taking up work on a major road. "Otherwise sub-arterial roads get damaged because all traffic is diverted on these roads when work is under progress on the main road," he said.

Jawahar Kapila of Brindavan Residents' Association in Arakere said only big construction companies should be allowed to take up roadworks. "This will ensure good quality work. Small contractors can be eliminated during the tender process if strict tender guidelines are imposed," he added.