Thursday, September 02, 2010

Potholes: Bengaluru needs long term plan not just a quick-fix

Potholes: Bengaluru needs long term plan not just a quick-fix

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BBMP has made tall promises of filling up all potholes in the city in 15 days.
But Bengalureans are sceptical as the civic body has found it difficult to keep most of its promises in the past. With craters resurfacing in most roads that were asphalted recently, the question being asked is will the city ever be free of these warts, report Amit S.
Upadhye and Chandrashekhar G. I have begun a pothole filling drive. All ward engineers have been directed to fill all potholes in the next 15 days and Rs 1 lakh has been set aside for the job in each ward.

H. Siddaiah, BBMP commissioner Even young peo ple, who are between 25 and 35 years old, are suffering from slip discs due to the bad condition of the roads. Although various factors cause slip disc and spinal problems, the bad roads are making a considerable contribution.

Dr Keyur A. Buch, surgeon

Ben galureans, who have heard it all before, are not surprisingly sceptical about BBMP's promise to fill all potholes on the roads in the city in the next fortnight. They fear it may be a rushed job, and the potholes will reappear in no time. Now that the city is looking forward to more durable concrete roads on some stretches, people don't see why other roads too should not be repaired and made to last longer. But they are not prepared to go by promises alone. BBMP commissioner H. Siddaiah's announcement that potholes will be filled in a fortnight has therefore been met at best with cautious optimism. Not only has he promised to give every ward Rs 1 lakh to fill the potholes on roads in their jurisdiction, but has also directed contractors to repair newly laid roads that may have deteriorated in rain or for other reasons soon afterwards.
No doubt the commissioner's intentions are good, but are they enough to accomplish what the city really needs -pothole-free roads for the next couple of years at least? An expert in laying roads doesn't think BBMP is up to the job. "It's an eyewash," he says, about the promise made to fill the potholes in the next two weeks, explaining that filling the crater-like holes on the roads is not as easy as it seems. "BBMP does not have the machines required to fill them up scientifically.
Only the Land Army which fills potholes on 10 per cent of the roads has the equipment necessary," he says.

This is not something Bengalureans want to hear as most are fed up with the craters that have appeared even on roads that have been asphalted four times in the last couple of years like the stretch at the Basaveshwara Circle in front of Chalukya Hotel, where vehicles are forced to slow down to avoid a huge pothole that doesn't seem to disappear, no matter how many times it is filled.

Going by BBMP there are over a 100 nearly 10 inch deep potholes in the city's Central Business District alone.

Many were filled but have resurfaced after the recent downpour, leaving traffic experts pointing accusing fingers at BBMP's highly unscientific approach to filling them up. Vinay Sreenivasa, a member of NGO, Hasiru Usiru, says the solution lies in allowing a citizens' audit of the work done to repair roads. "BBMP must involve citizens in doing an audit of the work carried out to make sure that it is of superior quality.
When the government is talking about following the Gujarat model of development for the state, why shouldn't BBMP learn something from the Ahmedabad City Corporation," he asks


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