Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rains hamper BBMP's efforts to fill potholes

Rains hamper BBMP's efforts to fill potholes

While civic engineers blame it on the bad weather and movement of heavy duty vehicles, commissioner plans to fine errant officials and order an inquiry

Senthalir S and Bosky Khanna. Bangalore



With city receiving rains for the last few days, many potholes have resurfaced all over the city hampering the civic authorities' efforts to fill them.
The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike had started the drive on October 14 to make the city pothole-free. The number of potholes that have been identified for filling in all the zones of the city has been put at 7,258. However, the recent rains have added up BBMP's work of filling the potholes.
While the engineers of each ward blame rain and heavy duty vehicular movement along the roads for the havoc, BBMP commissioner has decided to take stern action against officials for poor quality work.
Speaking to DNA, BBMP commissioner Bharat Lal Meena said that only Mahadevapura zone officials had adhered to the drive.
"I will review each ward and take stern action against officials for the poor quality work. Rainfall cannot be the cause for potholes to reopen again and a cover for officials not to complete the task. A fine of Rs500 to Rs1,000 will be imposed on the errant ward engineers followed by a departmental inquiry,'" Meena said.
This is the second time such a drive has been initiated by the BBMP in the recent past and a fine system introduced. It was earlier introduced by former BBMP commissioner K Jairaj, but was not successful.
Citizens, however, are not confident whether the instructions will be strictly implemented, errant engineers fined, and mistakes rectified.
"All this is an eye wash and the situation of city roads will not improve. People pay hefty amounts as road tax but the roads are in the worst condition. There are many instances where people have fallen or met with accidents due to big potholes dotting the roads. All complaints seem to have fallen on deaf ears as no action has been taken," said S Anandahari, a commuter and senior citizen.
A budget of Rs25 lakh was allocated to each ward for filling the potholes and the task was to be carried out during the day in residential and minor roads and at night on major roads.
When DNA contacted various engineers from each zone, they had various reasons for the resurfacing of potholes. According to them, they were due to the downpour or contractors performing sub-standard task. Some said it was because the new tar laid on the roads failed to stick well to the old stretch due to continuous movement of heavy vehicles. Others blamed it on diesel leaking from vehicles which resulting in cracks and potholes opening up.
But citizens can help out the BBMP. If you find a pothole in your area which has not been attended to
or which has reopened, you can call up the BBMP commissioner at 22221286 or 22237455.

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