Friday, October 23, 2009

POTHOLE BRIGADE!

POTHOLE BRIGADE!
Brigade Road, said to be one of the top roads in Bangalore, too is not spared of the pothole misery; unlike other major roads, this road has plenty of mini-sized craters, giving a bone-jarring ride to motorists
MANASI PARESH KUMAR


Brigade Road. The very name conjures up an image of high-end stores, elite class shoppers and a one stop for all your shopping needs. If you look at it logically, it is just a narrow lane that is barely a kilometre long. What it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in stature. Over time, there have been many contenders to take over its position as the ultimate shopping and social destination, but Brigade Road still remains the epitome of class and style. In other words, it is a showcase of Bangalore.
STORY REPEATS
So it is natural that one would expect at least this stretch of bitumen to be smooth and bump-free. But alas, it is still the same story here as well. You have to swerve and slam your brakes to avoid the numerous potholes that jump at you on this tiny stretch. The dip and grind and bump and gravel refuse to give up on the city motorists even here.
Around 5.45 in the evening when traffic begins to peak, we tried to figure out just how much of a problem these mini-sized craters were.
HOLDING UP TRAFFIC
Turn into the road from Cauvery Emporium junction, and there is one crater right in the beginning, making life miserable at the mouth of a traffic signal. Come down the road to turn into Church Street and there are a few others and you slow down. Rev up to your accelerator to go down the road towards Mota Royale Arcade and there you have a long dip that snakes along to slow you down. It was a bemusing sight to watched a beacon-topped police vehicle slowing down and swerving to avoid it. That is the power of a pothole that can derail the route of bureaucracy! A half an hour into this exercise, it begged two questions - Where is the pride and if this is the state of affairs in the most visible road of the city, imagine the problems that plague the lesser known roads of Bangalore?
Forget the recently-added CMC areas, which obviously top the list with the highest number of potholes (according to BBMP censuses, Bommanahalli has 2,108 potholes), the core areas that make up old Bangalore are no exception to the case either.
WHY APPEAR AT ALL?
Ulsoor, Vijayanagar, Commercial street, Ibrahim Street, parts of Malleswaram, Chamarajpet, Hanumanth Nagar, Majestic, you name it, they have it. To add to our woes, the Metro Rail construction has turned the mini-sized craters to moon-sized ones. Though the BBMP began a drive to fill them a fortnight ago, the real question is, why do they keep appearing on our streets?
Post J H Patel’s tenure as the chief minister, Bangalore saw a boom in the civic infrastructure and development projects. The dream of another Singapore saw the tax payers’ money being channeled to smoothen every concrete surface. Yet, our streets have reverted to their condition of the 80s - bumpy, choppy and dangerous.

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