Heavy traffic and the rains prevent BBMP from continuing work
Image: Pothole in Outer Ring Road Bengaluru

In what can be described as a silly attempt to placate a very real and visible problem, the district in-charge minister Ramalinga Reddy, on Thurday, found only one pothole during an inspection of a stretch of 25 kilometres of road from Silkboard to Hebbal in Bengaluru.

According to the Times of India, the single pothole spotted was at Hebblur junction and the BDA said it wasn't their fault and it was due to a water pipe leakage, blaming the BWSSB. However, Reddy said that BBMP would fix it soon. 

Speaking to The Hindu, the minister blamed the heavy traffic and the rains which prevent them from continuing work.

“If it rains at night, it is difficult to fill potholes. However, we hope the weather settles by November,” said the minister.  He promised to fix all the roads within a year’s time.

Ramalinga Reddy said,"Not the BBMP, but the Government has given Rs. 1000 crores for the development of roads in outer areas of Bengaluru. We are going to do it." 

Meanwhile, in spite of wide discussions over the abysmal condition of Bengaluru’s roads in the media, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike officials are still unsure whether the city’s roads can be repaired by the October deadline. 

The Deccan Chronicle reported that, two python machines will be put to use to fill potholes near Central Silk Board Junction and Madiwala, the BBMP has requested for more machines. A BBMP engineer said that using a python machine was advantageous and reduced the cost of repairing potholes. “The python machine is highly efficient in filling potholes instantly. Though the investment is more, the later expenses are less. It has the capability of filling one pothole in less than 5 minutes. Hence, we have demanded for five more machines,” he said.

An urban planning expert, Vivek Menon told the Deccan Chronicle that the BBMP’s fault lies in following this procedure. He said, “Instead, what the BBMP does is fill mud, wet mix and asphalt altogether without cleaning the pothole. Eventually, when there is water infiltration or dust accumulated, the potholes are formed.”

“The life cycle cost of permanently repaired pothole would be only 40 percent of what the BBMP is spending to frequently repair potholes now. And if treated properly, the pothole would not be damaged for over five years,” he said.

Despite the release of Rs 15 crore by the industrial development department under the Assistance to States for Infrastructure Development of Exports (ASIDE) scheme for development of infrastructure in Whitefield area,  not a single penny has been spent for the last four years, said the Bangalore Mirror.

Gaurav Gupta, the commissioner for industrial development alleged that they released the money for the construction of an underpass and formation of roads in Whitefield Industrial area. "But despite the passage of four years, not a single work has been executed and the civic agency has failed to execute the project," Gupta said.