Sunday, July 25, 2010

No quick fix for bad roads, city fathers put your heads together

No quick fix for bad roads, city fathers put your heads together

Article Rank

Battered roads are not a new sight in the city, and that too despite a huge sum being spent on road repair.

Who is to blame for this? Civic agencies who seldom bother to cover dug up portions of roads or contractors who fail to pay attention to detail, ask Akanksha Mehrotra and Chandrashekar G.

Look ing at the condition of roads in Bengaluru, its hard to imagine that Rs 1,000 crore has been spent on improving them annually. The potholes seem as big as ever and the roads as uneven and in need of repair as they have been for years in several parts of the city, especially in the more central areas.
The obvious conclusion that most people draw is that the money has not been well spent. Allegations of corruption,centering around a nexus between civic agency officials and contractors engaged to execute the work are steadily gaining ground.

The visibly poor condition of roads in the city despite

the BBMP's claims of having spent a substantial amount on improving them over the last three years could be the result of officers neglecting to follow the required specifications when repairing them, says Public Affairs Centre (PAC) chairman Samuel Paul.
“The officials concerned may not have given attention to details like the number of times a roller should run on the road, what the temperature of the bitumen used

should be, what the thickness of the asphalt should be and so on. If these simple specifications are taken care of, the quality of roads is bound to be high and their longevity guaranteed,” he explains.
Mr Paul alleges quality is

often deliberately given a go by as both contractors and engineers stand to gain if the roads need to be asphalted often. He also blames the poor condition of city roads on agencies like the BWSSB, BSNL and Bescom flouting road cutting protocol when digging them up for various reasons. “Although it is mandatory for these civic agencies to cover the dug up portions once the work is done, they seldom bother,” he regrets.
Citizen Action Forum (CAF) president N. Mukunda agrees that digging up of roads by various agencies at different points of time contributes hugely to their poor condition.

“There is very poor coordination between agencies.

The longevity of roads will increase by 50 per cent if they work together better and avoid indiscriminate road cutting,” he says , suggesting the establishment of a coordination committee to ensure that roads are not dug up the minute they are laid, by some agency or the other looking to lay new underground pipelines or repair old ones.

Mr Mukunda warns that if the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) does not clean up the roads after its work is done, the city could have a huge problem on its hands, and motorists may have to suffer bumpy rides for a long time to come. “The BMRCL must stick to its contractual terms and restore the roads to their normal condition once work on the Metro Rail is completed,” he stresses, also suggesting that BBMP must use the latest technology in road building to provide quality roads for Bengaluru.

While the PAC has come up with a manual for monitoring of road works, it can do little in this matter as it is really the duty of the officials concerned to supervise how roads are laid, says Mr Paul.


Post a Comment

<< Home