Bengaluru

BBMP drafting action plan to maintain city roads

The action plan will specifically deal with annual maintenance of roads that are not covered under the three-year defect liability period.

The action plan will specifically deal with annual maintenance of roads that are not covered under the three-year defect liability period.  

It will be presented before the Coordination Committee this week

Under fire for the poor condition of Bengaluru’s pothole-ridden roads from the High Court of Karnataka, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is now drawing up an action plan to ensure that all the 93,000-odd roads in the city are well maintained all year round.

The action plan, which will be submitted to the Coordination Committee headed by Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar this week, specifically deals with annual maintenance of roads that are not covered under the three-year defect liability period.

BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said it is the obligatory duty of the civic body to ensure that the 14,000-km road stretch in the city is in good condition. Of the 14,000 km, around 2,000 km is major roads and arterial roads.

It takes ₹50 lakh per km for maintenance of ward roads and ₹1 crore per km for major roads. To cover the entire 14,000-km road network in the city, the BBMP will have to ideally take up improvement of at least 4,000 km of ward roads and 650 km of major roads every year. That way, in three years, all the roads will be covered.

“However, this is a very expensive proposition, as it is going to cost around ₹2,650 crore each year. Given the revenue of the BBMP, which comes up to around ₹3,500 crore annually, it is nearly impossible to cover annual maintenance,” he said.

Though he did not divulge much about what the action plan entailed, he said it would cover not just roads, but also storm-water drains.

Stating that the financial aspects were still being worked out, Mr. Prasad said the action plan would be ready by Thursday and presented before the Coordination Committee on Friday.

‘GIS-based road history diluted’

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) GIS-based road history is far from what was first proposed. The civic body’s GIS-based system includes not just road inventory and road works history, but also mapped OFC (optic fibre cables), apart from other management information systems.

Currently, the system is being used by BBMP officials to input basic details of the work, job code, name of the contractor, apart from mentioning the defect liability period. “If any work is being taken up if the road is still under defect liability period, the system will not process it unless validated by senior officials. That apart, once the bill is finalised, road history is one of the documents that have to be submitted mandatory. It is only after this can the bill be cleared for payment,” an official said.

However, the full potential of the GIS-based system is not being exploited, as it has been diluted, said Kadumalleswara councillor Manjunath Raju. He said the system was first proposed to not just prevent bogus works and double billing, but also to bring on one platform the complete details of the city’s roads, that were earlier being maintained in a haphazard manner at the ward level.

Concurring, an official, on condition of anonymity, said that the system will become foolproof only when the job code generation is linked and when the new works to be taken up can be initiated from the system itself. “Owing to various reasons, such as coordination failure between the departments within the civic body itself, the full potential of the system is not being realised,” the official said.

However, citizens can still access information about nearly 90,000 roads in the city, measuring around 13,000 km, through the system. Of the 93,000 roads in the city, the road inventory has covered nearly 99% of the road network. “Apart from the roads maintained by the BBMP, there are many roads in revenue pockets still unrecognised and many are maintained by other departments such as Bengaluru Development Authority and Department of Public Works,” the official said.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 12:22:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bbmp-drafting-action-plan-to-maintain-city-roads/article25099901.ece

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