Work is being carried out on the stretch of Jnanabharathi Main Road where the road has caved in but commuters feel the stretch witnesses frequent repairs.

jnanabharathi road repair
news Civic Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 12:25

Videos of a road freshly repaired for PM Modi’s visit to Bengaluru peeling off just three days later was widely circulated on social media, once again drawing attention to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) shoddy track record in maintaining roads in the city. Karnataka Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai, has sought an inquiry report from the BBMP into the incident. TNM visited the stretch of Jnanabharathi main road that was being salvaged after a part of it caved in on June 23rd.

This road was also one of many roads that were recently repaired ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit. The BBMP has issued a show cause notice to three of its engineers responsible for repairing the road.

The outrage pushed BBMP officials to act quickly on the issue. When the TNM team reached the location, work was being carried out to repair the stretch where the road had caved in.

According to the BBMP officials, the road sank not because of substandard work but because one of the ‘dummy’ pipes had been damaged and flooded during the heavy rain. The water from this pipe caused the road to sink. “Since the pipes are four to five feet deep, we do not know where exactly the leaks are and where they have been fixed. It could be due to several reasons including movement of heavy vehicles weighing several tonnes,” a BBMP official who insisted on anonymity said. A dummy pipe, according to officials, is an additional pipe laid to offer support to the main line wherever there is a curve. This pipe got flooded due to rain and is the likely cause why the road caved in.

Commuters travelling on this narrow stretch of road faced additional hassle due to the traffic jam caused by the repair work. One of the commuters, Anand Raju said road repairs were frequent on the stretch. “The road is never fixed properly and we are tired of this. The BBMP officials do not even put any caution signs. Many accidents also happen because of this. Every day you get to hear something,” he said.

Another commuter, Manjunath TK said he wished PM Modi would frequently visit Bengaluru so that at least the patchwork approach to fixing roads was stopped and they were and they undergo a proper repair.

“You can see the quality of the rest of the road stretch. It was built seven months ago and is still good. It is only this patch that is troublesome. This issue happens in all roads and not just this in particular and may be due to leakage (of water) or some other issue, however, that does not mean that the work is substandard,” the BBMP official said.

Another commuter and resident of the area who frequently uses the Kengeri-Jnanabharathi road, said the stretch of road was filled with potholes and trash prior to the prime minister’s visit. “There were a lot of speed breakers, potholes and trash on this stretch of road. However, it was all fixed before the arrival of the prime minister. Speed breakers have also been removed. However, they still have not fixed the sewage drain, every time it rains, the road is flooded. Many complaints were sent to the BBMP on the condition of roads and the drains, however, none of them were heard,” she said.

Srinivas, an autorickshaw driver who has been working in the area for the last 20 years, feels the removal of speed breakers from the Kengeri-Jnanabharathi stretch could lead to speeding accidents.

The poor quality of roads in Bengaluru has always been a major concern for its residents. Several petitions have been filed in the Karnataka High Court asking to take cognizance of this issue and offer some much needed relief. While hearing a petition on June 24, the High Court slammed Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) officers. It asked if the PM or the President has to visit Bengaluru in order for the roads to be fixed.

With inputs from Pranava Maheshwari

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