The colourful tiles and cobblestones paving Commercial Street, which is undergoing a makeover, have worn out even before the formal inauguration of the busy road. Revenue and city-incharge Minister R. Ashok during an inspection on Friday ordered the contractor to bear the cost and replace the tiles.
Bengaluru Smart City Ltd. (BSCL) is developing the road at a cost of ₹5.5 crore. But this is not the first time that the quality of work has come under question. A day after the then Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa inspected the newly developed stretch in July, traders had complained of rainwater seeping into their shops.
Cut to Friday, the tiles are all faded, and the work is still weeks away from completion. Mr. Ashok, who inspected the stretch along with Administrator of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Rakesh Singh and BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta, told reporters that several complaints had been received about the quality of work.
“The colour of the tiles has faded as the contractor had decided to paint them after they were laid. The tiles also seem to be of poor quality, which the contractor has also agreed with. I have directed the contractor to change the tiles at their own cost,” he said.
Traders are unhappy with the delay and shoddy work. The owner of a commercial establishment along the stretch said business had been affected for more than a year owing to the ongoing work. “We are already badly affected due to the pandemic,” he said.
He added that work was completed only on one part of the road and it was progressing at a snail’s pace at other places. “Tiles are yet to be laid properly. In many places, they have already been damaged. If the work has to be done again, it will take longer for our businesses to recover,” he said, and sought to know why quality checks were not in place.
Mr. Ashok said work would be completed by September. Apart from replacing the tiles, 100-metres of the crossroads adjacent to Commercial Street would also be developed. “All this will be completed by September. Officials have been directed to ensure quality work so that Commercial Street is developed into a model road,” he added.
The Minister later inspected the storm-water drain in front of Gurudwara junction near Ulsoor lake. He asked officials to ensure that the water flows smoothly during the monsoon months.