Bengaluru

'Roads dug up, contractors demanding money from citizens'

The state of a road in Jayanagar I Block in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K.

Infrastructure work such as white-topping, TenderSURE, and the laying of new underground drainage/drinking water pipelines is proving to be a nightmare for traders in the commercial hub of Avenue Road and Chickpet area.

The slow progress on Avenue Road, where Bengaluru Smart City Ltd. (BSCL) has taken up work, has traders worried about business prospects, especially during the festive season.

“It is an arterial road connecting southern parts of the city to the Central Business District. With non-existent footpaths, pedestrians have to vie for space on roads with the vehicles,” said Sajjan Raj Mehta, a trade activist.

Rahul Goyal B.K., secretary of Karnataka Hardware and Allied Merchants’ Association, said the traffic diversion to SJP Road was causing a bottleneck on that road. He also mentioned that BWSSB had dug up the S.P. Road a year ago, but the road had not been restored. “Now, the BBMP and BWSSB are playing the blame game. The poor condition of roads is causing congestion in the market areas, which is dangerous during these times,” he said.

BSCL managing director P. Rajendra Cholan claimed the white-topping work on the 900-metre Avenue Road would be completed soon. “We have already completed white-topping a 450-metre stretch. Work is taken up on 50 metres of road every day. By September 26, we hope to complete the white-topping and footpath work on Avenue Road,” he said.

Other neighbourhoods are in a similar situation, with the recent spate of rains compounding the problem. For nearly two weeks now, several roads in Jayanagar I Block have been dug up by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which is laying a new underground drainage pipeline.

Former Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun said that the work to replace the 70-year-old pipeline at Jayanagar I Block was approved by the then BBMP council around two years ago.

On coordination

Roopa D., a resident and member of Jayanagar I Block Residents’ Association, said that even getting in and out of homes had become difficult for citizens. “After the roads were dug up, the contractors have not come back,” she said, adding that there also seems to be poor coordination between the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and the BBMP, which has also taken up white-topping of an arterial road in the area.

Another resident, C.N. Kumar, said the roads now look like a war zone. “The roads have become non-motorable. What is more, the contractor has been demanding money from each household to connect the existing drainage system to the new line,” he alleged.

 

BWSSB chairman N. Jayaram said contractors should not be taking money from residents to give a connection to the new line. “We will look into this complaint. We will also direct the contractor to expedite the work and minimise inconvenience to the residents,” he said.


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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 2:01:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/the-roads-here-resemble-a-war-zone/article36263895.ece

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