Wednesday, December 27, 2006

New spanner in road works!

New spanner in road works!
Deccan Herald

Waiting for a new telephone connection? Or hoping to get a leakage in your water supply line plugged?

Your anxious query will only be returned with a new excuse from the service providers: ‘We are awaiting permission from the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike for road cutting’.

Thanks to the Road Opening Restoration Protocol, which mandates service providers to seek the BMP’s nod for road cutting.

At loggerheads

The BMP officials and the utility agencies are at loggerheads over some clauses in the protocol.

“The protocol insists that road cutting be allowed only during weekends and holidays, preferably at night. That results in a pile-up of work over the week and causes undue delay,” complains a BSNL official.

“We need to take separate permission for works that are planned simultaneously across the City. Moreover, cable laying in the night is difficult for want of labourers, and contractors are unable to complete it within the stipulated time,” they add. Many agencies are going ahead with road cutting without the permission, too. The penalty collected for violations in the East division alone is Rs 26 lakh, this year.


“Unauthorised road cutting goes unchecked as we are unable to monitor every nook and corner of the City. Perhaps, the citizens can chip in by alerting us about any digging activity in their locality,” say the officials.

The agencies blame the BMP for delaying permission, but the BMP officials are in no mood to buy this argument. “It is true we’ve denied fresh permission to agencies that have not carried out restoration as per our standards. We’ve also forced some to re-do the restoration,” says an engineer.

“We are careful while granting permission on the arterial roads (96) and sub-arterial roads (118). Moreover, the restoration clause is strict and requires the agencies to deposit money (non-refundable). The agencies have to follow norms like erecting barricades, displaying caution boards, etc. The agencies are not too keen to follow these rules,” claims a senior BMP official.


*No manual cutting or open trenching, only horizontal directional drilling (HDD) will be permitted.

*Road cutting only in the presence of engineer of the concerned agency mentioned in the permission letter.

*HDD pit to be refilled within 48 hours.

*Debris to be removed and dumped beyond BMP limits.

*Permission for crossroads to be given by respective zonal office, while for arterial and sub-arterial roads and emergency works, permission to be given by technical consultant.

*Barricading, caution boards and other precautionary caution boards and name of the agency to be displayed.

*No damage to be caused to BMP drains/name boards or other utility lines or trees.

*HDD application made by one Agency will be mailed/faxed to all other Agencies to eliminate frequent opening of roads by various agencies.


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