Bengaluru

Bengaluru citizens report 5,435 potholes, poor footpaths

A whopping 5,435 instances of potholes, bad stretches of roads and footpaths have been reported by citizens through WhatsApp chatbot to the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA), which conducted a random survey to ascertain the status of the city’s roads and footpaths on the directions of the Karnataka High Court.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oak and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty on Tuesday took note of the report submitted by the KSLSA’s Member-Secretary H. Shashidhar Shetty after analysing inputs from citizens and random inspection of several stretches of roads by para-legal volunteers.

While directing the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to come out with an action plan to fill potholes, repair bad roads and footpaths, the bench also directed BBMP’s Chief Engineers in charge of road infrastructure to personally attend the next hearing on the PIL petition, through which court is monitoring the conditions of roads, to explain the technique that would be adopted to fill up potholes.

The report pointed out that of the 5,435 response from citizens, 437 were related to potholes and bad road issues, and the remaining 4,998 are related to footpaths. The KSLSA received these responses from citizens within 20 days beginning from January 11 through the chatbot, created in association with Reap Benefit, an NGO, to exclusively receive inputs from citizens on the status of roads and footpaths in their locality.

Of the 4,998 footpath related inputs, 3,531 were about blocked footpaths, 1,443 were of damaged footpaths, and the remaining 24 were of not building a footpath, the report stated while pointing that inputs from citizens indicated that garbage, street vendors and parking of vehicles are the main causes for blocking of footpaths.

On BBMP’s claim made in February 2020 that 74 roads are free from potholes, the report stated that its volunteers inspected 25 of these roads, and majority of them were not free from potholes.

Only four stretches – Bannerughatta Road to Bilekalli Kodichikkenahalli Main Road; K.R. Road to 9th Cross Chamarajpet; Uma theatre signal to BEMS College; and Ashrama Junction to National College Circle – were found to be pothole-free during an inspection conducted on February 1, 2021, the report pointed out.

The report mentioned that the BBMP did not furnish documents sought on road maintenance due to which KSLSA could could not assess quality of roads with the assistance of officials of the National Highways Authority of India. It was not possible, due to non submission of documents, to ascertain whether BBMP is really invoking the Defect Liability Period (DLP) clause in contracts, and compelling the contractor concerned to carry out repair of damaged roads within the DLP.

Earlier, BBMP counsel submitted that a majority of complaints related to newly added areas to BBMP where works of laying underground drainage and drinking water supply pipes are under way.

The bench replied that the BBMP can give many excuses, but the fact remain that all the areas are under its jurisdiction.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 6:32:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bengaluru-citizens-report-5435-potholes-poor-footpaths/article33974138.ece

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