Castigating the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for failing to make roads free of potholes despite granting 30 days to complete the job, the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday sent its commissioners to inspect the pothole filling works being undertaken by the civic body in different parts of the city on Tuesday night and Wednesday, and submit a report on October 25.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice S.G. Pandit expressed serious displeasure over the BBMP’s failure to make the roads free of potholes after the BBMP’s counsel said that no ward out of the total 198 wards is entirely free of potholes but pointed out that certain roads in some wards are free from potholes.
The bench, which is monitoring BBMP’s actions to make roads free of potholes through a PIL petition, said that it thought that the BBMP would make an honest effort to achieve the “zero pothole” target in a month’s period as traffic was less during the Dasara holidays.
When BBMP counsel said that “citizens are happy with measures taken to fill potholes,” the bench wondered whether the people are really happy.
Pointing out that there was 34 days for the BBMP from the last date of hearing on the petition, the bench said that this period was enough to achieve the zero pothole target if it was serious in discharging its responsibilities. “We expected the city to be pothole free by now. But there is no sign of such possibility. If BBMP is not able to do this work, then the court can get the work done through some other agencies, but that will be after pronouncing the BBMP a failure,” the bench observed orally.
Pointing out that the court is spending several hours in hearing petitions related to problems of Bengaluru, like potholes and storm water drains, etc, the bench indicated that it may think of conducting special sittings on Saturdays to avoid delay on hearing other litigations on regular sitting days between Monday and Friday.
After it was pointed out to the bench by counsel for the petitioners that 43 potholes, details of which were provided during the previous hearing, remained unfilled and the BBMP counsel countered this claim, the bench asked its commissioners — Dinesh Agrawal, Superintending Engineer, CWE (Army), Military Engineering Services, Bengaluru, and Uma M.G., a district judge and Member-Secretary, Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) — to inspect some of these spots immediately and submit a report.