BBMP’s new approach to potholes: Stop counting

Potholes seen on Avenue Road in Bengaluru on Thursday. (DH Photo by S K Dinesh)

Civic authorities have come up with a novel idea to save themselves from being criticised for potholes: they stopped counting them.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has justified discontinuance of pothole counting by dubbing the process unscientific.

“We’ve stopped counting potholes because we’ve decided to make the city roads pothole-free,” M R Venkatesh, engineer-in-chief, BBMP, said. “We have asked the engineers to attend to (plug) the potholes when they’re found, instead of counting them, since they can appear any time.”

The civic body has fined the contractor who used Python machines Rs 10,000 for unscientifically digging the roads and harming the surface. It has also fined 10 road infrastructure officials for untimely action and has collected Rs 18,000 in total.

“Instead of counting the potholes, we want no potholes on the roads,” said BBMP’s chief engineer for road infrastructure, Somashekhara S. “We have fined the Python machine contractor for not doing the work properly and damaging the roads.” As on July 18, the civic authority had listed 5,630 potholes in Bengaluru and had filled about 2,790.

It said 2,840 holes are still to be filled. It now says all the potholes will be filled without deadlines.

“No deadlines to fill potholes since it’ll give us a rough target time to finish the work,” Somashekhara explained. “We’ve instructed our officials to fill the holes in various shifts to ensure there’re no potholes.” 

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