Roads across Bengaluru have either developed potholes and craters, or have been dug up by civic agencies
Around a week ago, when Venkataraman Durgadas, who lives in Whitefield, was walking on Borewell Road, he lost his footing and fell after stepping onto a hastily covered ditch that had been dug by a telecom service provider.
“I had to undergo a minor surgery in a private hospital. I have raised complaints about the poor condition of the road on every available forum. To date, the road has not seen any repair… it is still dug up and there is no footpath. It is dangerous for both pedestrians and two-wheeler riders,” said the IT professional, who had to shell out ₹30,000 for the surgery.
Borewell Road is just one among hundreds of roads in the city that are either full of potholes and craters, or have been dug up for work. The recent spate of rains has exacerbated the problem even as civic agencies have not met deadlines.
Roads, especially those in the outer zones, are in a pathetic condition, and some stretches have been reduced to rubble, say residents, citing examples of Nallurhalli Main Road, ITPL Road, ECC Road, Pattandur Agrahara Road, the road connecting Varthur Kodi and Gunjur, Belagere Road, Sorahunase Road, Munnekolalu Road, and Kundalahalli Junction to Sarjapur Road.
Following the recent spate of rains, potholes are seen on parts of the Outer Ring Road like the stretch between Peenya metro station and Yeshwantpur station on National Highway 4, HMT Main Road, Seshadripuram 1st Main Road, Hennur Main Road and Hedgenagar Main Road.
Residents take the initiative
Jagadish Reddy from Varthur Rising told The Hindu that around three months ago, the BBMP identified just 21 potholes on a 2.2-km stretch in Varthur village, coming under Whitefield sub-division. “The stretch has hundreds of potholes,” he said.
With their repeated complaints about poor roads falling on deaf ears, residents of Owners Court Layout in Kasavanahalli decided to pool in money and repair the roads.
Hemukumar K., president, Namma Owners Court Layout, said that all the 18 cross roads had been dug up for laying water and underground drainage pipelines, but restoration had not been taken up. Residents of around five cross roads pooled in ₹3 lakh, contacted private building contractors and engaged them.
“During the lockdown, ambulances got stuck. Accidents are reported nearly every day. Though we submitted several petitions, no repair work was taken up,” he said and added that construction debris, jelly and wet mix was used to level the roads.
CBD also dug up
In the Central Business District (CBD), several roads have been dug up for development works that have been taken up by Bengaluru Smart City Ltd. However, progress has been slow.
“The city resembles a war zone. The civic body that shows so much interest in collecting taxes from citizens has done close to nothing on improving civic infrastructure,” said a resident of Palace Guttahalli.
BBMP Administrator Gaurav Gupta said that he had directed engineers to ensure that roads are in a motorable condition, including portions where work has been taken up. “Priority will be given to fixing the arterial roads that witness most traffic,” he said.
Civic chief N. Manjunath Prasad said that over the next 15 days, the identified stretches will be repaired, provided there are no rains. Though the civic body has its own hot mix plant, the plant could not be operated, given the wet weather conditions. “We cannot use the wet jelly, as it will impact the quality of the hot mix. If it is raining, road repair cannot be taken up,” he said.
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