Digging up roads seems to be the duty of every authority in Bangalore – be it the telecom department, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) or private companies. Once these roads are dug up, there arises the big question – who will repair them? Considering that no one has been able to answer this question, all that the public can do is deal with shoddy roads and messy traffic.
Many parts of Jayanagar have been facing this situation with residential areas being dug up for the replacment of cables.
As usual, after the work is done, the roads are given a touch-up without being asphalted. Residents have faced a lot of inconvinience, especially when it comes to parking, during the process of digging itself.
Nagaraj couldn’t remove his car for an entire day because of the cable work that was going on right in front of his house.
“I wasn’t even informed about the digging. In the morning as I got ready for work, they had already started digging and I couldn’t take out my car. Though I managed that day, the next day there was a huge heap of mud to cover all the dug-up areas,” he adds. Malathi, who lives close to Jayanagar 4th Block, also faced problems as the road in front of her house was dug up for almost two days.
“First, the BWSSB came to lay pipes. Then someone else started digging it and most of us had to park our vehicles on another street for the night,” she explains.
Apart from parking issues, a major concern for most people is the lack of concern over the levelling of the road after the work is done.
“It would also be helpful to the public if a single civic authority takes up the responsibility of such work. We do not know which civic agency to complain to or plead with for the road to be levelled,” says Praveen Kumar, a professional.
Even shopkeepers face a lot of inconvenience due to this. Ravi, who owns a juice shop in Jayanagar 4th Block, says that for nearly a week, he hardly had customers because of the road being dug up in front of the shop.
“Post that, the road has been left in such a bad shape. There is so much dust and no proper path to walk on. So now, very few people come to my shop and my business is getting affected,” he adds.
Some have even tried to complain to the authorities but have not got any concrete answer. “When we asked the workers doing the job to get the road back in shape, they said it was the Palike’s duty. When we contacted the BBMP Control Room, there was no response,” complains Likhit, another resident.
A BWSSB official says, “Once the pipes are laid, our men fill the trenches with mud and later, inform the Palike officials to take up the job of asphalting or road-levelling. We are not responsible for road-levelling. The BBMP has to do that.”
“For road-cutting, we have to take permission from the Palike, which takes a lot of time if done according to the procedure. So before taking up the work, we seek an oral permission. We are replacing the old sewerage pipes in areas but the Palike has to finish the levelling work,” he adds.
The BBMP, however, has another story to tell. “The ones who take the permission for road-cutting and pay the fine are responsible for the levelling of the road after the work is over. We are concerned only about the process of asphalting. But if they do not inform us about the status of the work, how can we take
it up? There have been instances of the BWSSB, BESCOM and other telecom service providers cutting the road and damaging it just after we have laid new roads. There is no co-operation and the BBMP is blamed for everything,” says an official from the BBMP.