Promises from the BBMP, apparently, re-appear as often as the potholes on the city’s roads. After a gaping pothole claimed the life of a software engineer last week, the civic body has set itself another deadline to make the city free of potholes.
All major, arterial and sub-arterial roads in city will be pothole-free by October-end, declared Transport and Bengaluru City In-Charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy, who chaired a high-level meeting of BBMP officials on Monday.
Elections and torrential rains in the last three months damaged the city’s roads. Now, the BBMP authorities would get into action to fill up all potholes on a war-footing, he said, adding that the joint commissioners and chief engineers of all eight zones will be held responsible for potholes and uncleared garbage in their respective zones. So far, executive engineers and assistant engineers were held responsible for the same.
The Minister said tenders had been called for Rs. 347 crore of the total Rs. 1,000 crore promised by the State government to fix potholes. Contractors who do tardy jobs would be blacklisted and would not be given any civic work in future.
A total of 20,000 km of roads come under BBMP but the previous dispensation failed to improve main, arterial and sub-arterial roads, he added.Just another promise?
However, citizens are taking the new promise with a pinch of salt. D.S. Rajshekar, president of the Citizens Action Forum, said immaterial of which the party in power, it had become common for the palike and the government to make promises that were not honoured.
“Why are they not even looking at the history of why this has failed? There is no accountability; repairs are being carried out for the sake of it. Potholes are inevitable due to poor quality work, rain, population or growing traffic. When they are closing them, they should do it in collaboration with the residents by making a survey of the area,” he added.No auditing
Mr. Ramalinga Reddy said there is no need for auditing the existing potholes. The real problem had been lack of coordination among various agencies, such as BWSSB, Bescom, BSNL and others. A coordination committee comprising heads of departments had been constituted. It is headed by the BBMP commissioner. Even the process of seeking permission for road cutting has been made online, he added.
He also said that work on preparing road history of all roads is in the final stages and is likely to be completed before November.