Observing that the overall condition of the city roads is still “not satisfactory”, the High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday directed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to create a system to receive complaints on potholes, and bad footpaths and roads from citizens.
The court directed the civic body to design a mobile app and also create a portal on its official website for the purpose.
A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Mohammad Nawaz, also directed the BBMP to create a mechanism to respond to the complaints received, on the app and the portal asking officials to upload photos of the repair works undertaken.
While directing the BBMP to create them within six weeks, the Bench said that the civic body will have to give wide publicity through the print, the electronic, and on social media once the new system is operational.
The Bench also directed that ward committees will have the responsibility to inspect roads in the ward to ascertain whether the streets need repair owing to potholes or other causes, and to monitor the repair, maintenance works.
The committees will also have to monitor the laying of utility pipes and cables, by digging roads, to ensure that the agencies carrying out such works adhere to the terms and conditions imposed by the BBMP while granting permission for road cutting.
The committees, the Bench said, will have to ensure that all precautions are taken under Section 289 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act 1976 at the time of carrying out road-repair works.
All the committees will have to submit a monthly report on the footpath and road maintenance, repairs etc., to the office of the Commissioner within five days after the end of every month, and the BBMP will have initiate action based on the reports.
The Bench said that the BBMP can consider representation from citizens claiming compensation in the event of loss or damages caused owing to bad roads and footpaths so that the citizens are not required to knock the doors of the High Court.
Also, the BBMP has been directed to take necessary steps to protect persons with visual disability at the time of the repair of streets and footpaths as per the relevant laws.
It was pointed out that permission for utility service providers, like the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, for digging roads was being granted by securing 25% of the amount required to restore the road to its original condition as deposit, and it is the duty of the service provider to restore the road.
The Bench directed the BBMP to examine whether the service providers can be asked to deposit the entire estimated amount to restore the road to its original condition.
The Bench also asked the BBMP, which has statutory obligation of maintaining and repairing roads, to see if it can delegate responsibility to the utility service providers to restore roads instead of doing it by themself.