news Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 05:30



The fangs of the anaconda lying in a market in the Yeshwanthpur area of Bengaluru, did what years of appeals and protests failed to do: embarrass the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.

Confronted with street art – first a crocodile, then an anaconda, paper boats and manholes – about the abysmal state of infrastructure in Namma Bengaluru sprouting all over the city, civic authorities are well, embarrassedly, admitting their embarrassment.

ReadWhy did an anaconda pop out of Bengaluru's water-filled potholes? 

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Administrator TM Vijay Bhaskar told The News Minute that officials were trying to repair the potholes in the city, but added that it would take time as the rains hamper the task of fixing them.

According to a report in The New Indian Express in July, there are around 2,000 potholes on 422 roads in the city. The potholes vary from being just a few inches deep  to forming a big crater, but all of them get filled with water during rains and adding to commuters woes.

“Ideally they should have closed them all before the rains hit the city. It should have been started in January and finished by April,” he says, blaming the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) for digging up the roads, creating potholes, and leaving the BBMP to repair them.

A day after they installed an anaconda in the Yeshwanthpur area, members of Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) created a street installation in the Kathriguppe area of the city – a pair of arms rising from a manhole, as if seeking help. The artists said they created it to draw attention to the dangers of open manholes, which have claimed lives in the past.

Assistant Executive Engineer (South), BWWSB, Deepak KV said that these installations were definitely embarrassing for the civic agency, but added that it was “beyond their control”. “We cannot generalise that civic agencies are negligent. Sometimes workers are not available during weekends or holidays, so manholes maybe unattended, but otherwise they are taken care of,” says Deepak.

Around two weeks ago, artist Baadal Nanjundaswamy had set paper boats afloat in water-logged potholes on Church Street.

BBMP Chief Engineer in-charge of the area Prasad BS said that the street art was embarrassing for the BBMP. But he quickly pointed out that the BBMP was unable to repair potholes because of negligence and delays in completion of drainage constructions by the BWSSB.

“The road works belong to BBMP and sanitary works to BWSSB. They dig it up and then don’t co-ordinate with the BBMP, neither do they fill it up,” he says.

The street art has exposed the BBMP to a new feeling: embarrassment. But, as usual, they rely on standard responses – blaming each other for the mess.



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