Monday, June 07, 2010

Careful, as you take to the roads this monsoon

Careful, as you take to the roads this monsoon

Just a few spells of rain, potholes appear in many parts of the city

Bosky Khanna. Bangalore



Rain over the past few days has left many roads in the city looking like strings of hills and holes. What is worse, many of these roads were smartened up ahead of the Global Investors Meet. The newly patched-up roads have sprung potholes again, revealing just how ill-prepared the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike is to face the monsoon.
This is a problem that recurs year after year, and experts opine that a contractor mafia, hand-in-glove with engineers, is behind the sorry state of city roads. However, mayor SK Nataraj has held that enough is enough, and stern disciplinary action will be taken against engineers or contractors responsible for shoddy work on city roads.
Commuters who ply in Jayanagar, Banashankari Main Road and Old Madras Road have to face poorly-laid roads, riddled with potholes. Narayan Ramaswamy, a businessman and regular commuter on Bannerghatta Road, said, "I can't help feeling a little scared when I'm there. There are dangerous potholes, some of them quite deep. There is no telling how deep when the holes are full of water."
You'll be riding over potholes if you drive on roads in Ulsoor, JP Nagar, Magadi Road, Malleswaram, Rajajinagar, Bannerghatta Road or Yeshwanthpur. MN Sreehari, advisor to the state government on traffic, transport and infrastructure, said, "Potholes keep forming again and again as poor-quality material are used in the repair and maintenance of roads, and repairs are conducted in an unscientific manner."
Sreehari explained that ideally, openings on the roads should be cut and filled in two layers, with jelly, fly ash and bitumen. What is being done at present in the name of road repair is just cosmetic surgery, and that too temporary, he said, adding that at least Rs 6-7 crore has been spent this year on road repair.
Not all city roads, though, are riddled with potholes. Cubbon Road till BRV Theatre, for instance, is a smooth ride. And the new airport road, built by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), is also a smooth road.
Mayor SK Nataraj says, "People can call my assistant on 22975501. If the complaints are not attended to, the contractor and the engineer will be taken to task."

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