Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Deadline ends, potholes remain

Deadline ends, potholes remain

The Hindu

Even as the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) authorities claim that 90 per cent of the identified 16,000 potholes have been filled by the September 19 deadline, several prominent roads in the city still have gaping potholes.

For the record, 13th Cross in Vasanthnagar, Millers' Tank Bund Road in front of Jasma Bhavan, the Ejipura main road, 6th Main in HVR Layout, Govindrajnagar, Magadi Main Road and several other roads still have dangerous potholes.

Filling potholes

Citizens in the western parts of the city feel that the potholes had not been filled in a scientific manner. "The BMP men come with the bitumin mix and dump it in the potholes without bothering to cut the holes into squares and clean them before laying the bitumin," B. Mahadevappa, a resident of Magadi Main Road, said.

Others said that work has been done for "name sake" just to ensure that the holes are filled with something. "This kind of shoddy work will be washed away in a few spells of rain and we will again have potholes and fresh deadlines. This is nothing new," Parveen Bobby, an interior designer, said.

When contacted, the Mayor, P.R. Ramesh, said that pothole filling was a continuous process. "We have started work and will continue it till all the potholes are filled. But as water seeps into the earth, new potholes will keep appearing. To ensure that we have no potholes and craters, there should be proper coordination among all the service providers," he said.

Repairing drains

He said the BMP was also repairing the drains at the identified 60 places. "We are reconstructing the retaining walls, bridges and drain slabs at an estimated cost of Rs 3.55 crores," he said.

The drains would be covered with one-foot wide pre-cast slabs, pre-fabricated slabs or ferro cement slabs, which could be removed from time to time for cleaning and desilting.

The parapet walls of some drains would be raised and at several points the BMP would provide a chain-link fencing to the drains to avoid people getting washed away and also check garbage and debris from being dumped, he said.

The civic body had swung into action a fortnight ago when the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, directed the BMP to repair roads, drains and fill potholes after heavy rains damaged roads.

Though the Chief Minister set a three-day deadline to fill the potholes, the BMP Commissioner, K. Jothiramalingam, said the city would be pothole-free by September 19. Each ward was allocated Rs. 1.5 lakh for the rain emergency works. But road-asphalting works would be taken up only after the monsoon, he had said.

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