Ankit Sharma Sharma
Green tea Addict | A Tree Hugger | Born for Change
On September 21, The Karnataka High Court has extended the time till September 24, for Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to fix all the potholes of Bengaluru. In a bid to accomplish the deadline, BBMP had been using mud and gravel to cover up the potholes.
BBMP have filled 899 potholes in all eight zones overnight, and the process of filling another 2,172 is in progress. M R Venkatesh, Engineer-in-chief of BBMP, submitted a report to the High Court stating that BBMP has found additional 1,416 potholes on top of already recorded 1,655 ones. So a request was made to lend them three more days to make Bengaluru free from potholes. The BBMP affidavit revealed that Mahadevapura zone has 709 potholes —the highest — and not one has been filled yet.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari granted the request and adjourned the hearing to September 24. was hearing the PIL filed by the residents who have approached the High court for non-completion of work by BBMP.
In 2015, Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by four petitioners from Koramangala in Bengaluru, who have sought directions to BBMP to eradicate the problem of potholes and improve the roads.
The Karnataka High court said that it expects BBMP to ensure Bengaluru city roads are free of potholes by 24 September. “This court expects that there should not be a single pothole in Bengaluru by tomorrow. It is your job. How you go about it is left to you,” said HC Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari. The Bench indicated that if BBMP didn’t react or work accordingly, then they will take different measures.
The Bench also added, “The BBMP, entrusted with the affairs of the Garden city, should think of it as a God-given opportunity and do its work.”
“The city cannot be allowed to beat anybody’s mercy, and it needs to give its glory from every angle. Work will have to be done in right earnest. Let us see if you can do it tonight,” the court said before adjourning the hearing on 21 September, as reported by The Indian Express.
A total number of 182 accidents occurred in 2015 because of potholes, resulting in 38 fatalities, as reported by The Hindu. In 2016, Karnataka state ranked 13th in the country in terms of pothole-related casualties with 37 deaths, as reported by The Times of India. In 2017, as per a report on road accidents in Bengaluru, a total number of 500 deaths were caused as a consequence of potholes in the city.
According to Deccan Herald reports, on July 2018, the Supreme Court described the number of pothole-related deaths over the country as “frightening”. The SC said that the number of fatalities in such incidents was more than those in terror attacks.
On 24 June 2018, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G. Parmeshwara tweeted “Report a Pothole and get it fixed immediately”. This newly launched service allowed the citizens of Bengaluru to report about potholes through WhatsApp message or call or complain to the official website.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, a few local commuters have shared their grievances about the pothole menace and asserted that they were skeptical about BBMP’s work procedure.
“The potholes are filled with mud and the building waste materials by BBMP workers to meet the deadline which is not helpful for the commuters as it will wash away right after it rains,” said Srinivas Beerge, a resident of Maruthi Nagar.
“I travel every day from J.P. Nagar to Yelahanka for work. BBMP mentions around 2000 potholes are there, I don’t think it even adds up to 10% of the potholes in Bengaluru,” said Preetam Jain, a resident of J.P. Nagar.
SR Anuradha, the counsel of petitioner, alleged that she had not seen any work of BBMP related to potholes in her area. On the hearing day, she had further claimed that there are around 13,000 potholes in Bengaluru.
“Potholes are one among the main reason for traffic jam and road accidents. Four-wheeler drivers generally make sure that they carefully drive as they try to avoid any situation to cave in the pothole. Automatically to avoid they drive slow which causes traffic” said Shreyans, a software engineer.
Potholes have been a problem for many years now. This is not the first time that the authorities have been delinquent on this issue. In 2015, a PIL was filed by four concerned residents with the result of the issue being solved temporarily. Filling up the potholes with mud and gravel can only provide a temporary solution. BBMP should have a better action plan on the cards to solve this pothole problem permanently.
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