Immediately start fixing potholes as per BBMP’s work order using automatic machine, HC directs contractor

Court asks Chief Commissioner to examine issue on payment sought by contractor as per PWD’s rate

Published - April 21, 2022 10:21 pm IST - Bengaluru

File photo of a bad stretch of road in Bengaluru.

File photo of a bad stretch of road in Bengaluru.

The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday directed the contractor, American Road Technology and Solutions (ARTS), to immediately start the pothole-repair work on the 182 km stretch of major roads using Python, an automatic pothole patcher machine, as per the work order issued by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

However, the court directed the Chief Commissioner of the BBMP to reconsider the issue raised by the ARTS over the rate at which the payment has to be made to it for availing the service of Python machine.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice S.R. Krishna Kumar passed the order while hearing a PIL petition related to condition and maintenance of city’s road.

Earlier, the advocate representing ARTS pointed out that the BBMP has issued work order fixing lower rate for using Python machine as against the ₹1,249 per hour fixed by the Public Works Department in its Common Schedule Rate, Volume-1 for usage of pothole repair machine. It was told to the court that ARTS is ready to start the work immediately if the rate is fixed as prescribed by the PWD.

However, counsel of the BBMP said that ₹1,249 per hour is the rate for the emergency purposes and the BBMP is not hiring Python machine for emergency work but is giving a contract to ARTS on a long-term basis, and hence the rate differs.

Taking note of these submissions, the Bench said that the ARTS shall start the repair works on major roads as per the work order issued by the BBMP on April 20, 2022 while directing the Chief Commissioner to decide on the issue about the rate.

While directing the Chief Commissioner to submit his decision on rate at which payment has to be made to ARTS, the Bench directed status report on progress made on filling of potholes by ARTS by next date of hearing, on May 21. Also, the bench asked the BBMP to consider making advance payment to ARTS if it makes request for such advance payment to commence the work.

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