BBMP races against time to fill Bengaluru’s potholes, but many problems stand in way

The Karntaka High Court gave the BBMP a deadline to fill all the potholes in Bengaluru, but as it approaches the civic body is seeing a host of problems.
BBMP races against time to fill Bengaluru’s potholes, but many problems stand in way
BBMP races against time to fill Bengaluru’s potholes, but many problems stand in way
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With just two days left for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike to fill all the potholes in the city on the orders of the Karnataka High Court, the civic body has already run into a host of problems. Year after year, Bengaluru gets riddled with potholes during the rainy months and, in many areas, roads just cease to exist. After the Karnataka High Court pulled up the BBMP and set the deadline for filling potholes, the body is now struggling to find an appropriate method to fill these potholes and is also facing problems with the contractors.

According to BBMP officials, the contractors, who have obtained tenders to carry out road repair works, have been dodging the calls of BBMP engineers, making it difficult for the Palike to meet the deadline.

“BBMP contracts road repair works to private entities and, depending on the contract period (one to three years), these contractors have to fill potholes and fix damaged roads whenever necessary. The public is always out to get us, but we are facing problems with the contractors who are not willing to carry out their job properly,” a senior BBMP official said.

A BBMP engineer told TNM that after the deadline was issued, officials were in a frenzy, making calls to contractors and asking them to get to work. “Only a few of them started work on day one. So many of them were ignoring calls and refusing to work. We have told them that BBMP will bear the costs. The have started work on Friday. If action is taken against such contractors then BBMP would not be blamed,” he added.

Officials also say that despite several warnings, contractors use substandard methods for filling up potholes, which results in the roads crumbling as soon as a fresh bout of rain begins.

“Ideally, the potholes must be cut into squares or rectangles, the dust must be removed and then the asphalt mixture must be added to cover them up. In many areas like Indiranagar, Koramangala and Adugodi, the asphalt-jelly stone wet mixture is directly being filled into the potholes and this will not last during the rainy season,” an official with the BBMP East Division said.

Sources in the BBMP say that instead of filling up deep potholes with a dry mix and then adding the wet asphalt mixture, the contractors are carrying out shoddy work, which has resulted in the newly filled pothole coming apart within days.

“In Koramangala and Sajjan Rao Circle areas, the filled potholes have already come apart. Asphalt is lying on the roadsides and it has become even more unbearable. We have informed the contractors on Friday to fix it as soon as possible,” the official said.

Speaking to TNM, Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj said that the work is being carried out on war footing and denied all claims that the quality of work is shoddy.

“If anyone finds shoddy work being carried out, they can click photographs, collect samples and show it to us. Or they can get it tested themselves or produce it before court. We have been carrying out work to meet the deadline,” Sampath Raj said.

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