This is reportedly the first time that the BBMP has taken action against a government agency as until now, only private firms were penalised for damaging roads.

Bengaluru civic body fines Bescom Rs 25 lakh for illegally digging up new road
news Civic Issues Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 10:20

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bengaluru’s civic body, has imposed a penalty of Rs 25 lakh on power utility Bescom for illegally digging up a newly laid road and a sidewalk. 

This incident happened near the Marathahalli police station on a stretch which runs along the Outer Ring Road and is a part of the tech corridor. 

“We have issued a fine of Rs 25 lakh. The action was initiated as per directions issued by the chief secretary. The amount does not include the road restoration charge of Rs 4.7 lakh which will be levied separately on Bescom,” BBMP chief engineer S Somashekhar told the Times of India

This is reportedly the first time that the BBMP has taken action against a government agency as until now, only private firms were penalised for damaging roads. 

Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar, who was reportedly livid when he came to know about the alleged damage caused by Bescom, said that if Bescom has taken approval, then BBMP should restore it promptly, otherwise, penalty should be imposed in addition to the full restoration charge and (registration of) an FIR. 

He has directed BBMP to initiate action on Wednesday. 

Irked with the unplanned digging, especially on newly laid roads, residents and activists have been complaining for long, the ToI report adds. 

TV Mohandas Pai, who is the chairman of Aarin Capital, has called for prosecution of Bescom and suspension of officials.

“They must pay the penalty personally; we cannot have this adjust madi attitude with taxpayers’ money,” he wrote.

Pointing out the rampant illegal digging, KB Rathnakar Reddy, a consultant for Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) told ToI that parts of Hennur Road, which also serves as an alternative path to the Kempegowda International Airport, have been dug up over five times in about a year. 

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