HC sets up panel to inspect pothole repair in Bengaluru

Not buying the BBMP’s claim that 90% of the roads in the city are free from potholes, the High Court of Karnataka on Monday set up a two-member commission to inspect the quality of the repair. 

A division bench of Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice S G Pandit continued hearing PIL petitions on Monday, which was also the deadline for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to ensure there were no potholes on roads. 

Advocate V Srinidhi, who represented the BBMP, said the civic body had taken up the repair on a war footing. “Potholes in 90% of the roads have been filled,” he added. He further said newly-discovered potholes were still being filled. 

The chief justice, however, said it was not enough to fill potholes in a hurry. “The quality of repairs should be good. Give us details of the repair in every ward,” he said. 

The BBMP counsel said all potholes in the following zones were filled: Malleswaram, west zone: 7 out of 44 wards; Mahalakshmi Layout, west zone; 7 wards; Yelahanka zone: four out of 11 wards. 

The BBMP has taken the services of G L Sivakumar Babu, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IISc, and Rajib B Mallick, Professor, Civil Engineering, IISc. 

The BBMP counsel also submitted a status report on potholes by revealing the identity of the roads, the name of the contractors, the size of the potholes and the date of attending to the potholes with the images taken before and after execution of the work. 

The chief justice then ordered that a commission appointed by the court would inspect the work. The court said the commission would consist of Dinesh Agarwal, Superintending Engineer, CWE (Army), and Karnataka State Legal Services Authority member secretary M G Uma. Additional Solicitor General Prabhuling K Navadgi and Additional Advocate General A S Ponnanna would assist the commission. 

“A team led by the BBMP chief engineer will start the inspection at 3.30 pm,” he said. The court further asked the BBMP chief engineer to give the commission details of the ward numbers and the areas and ordered that the engineer be present at inspection sites with all the details. 

The court instructed the BBMP to extend full cooperation to the commission. “Improve the trustworthiness of the BBMP and ensure that Bengaluru returns to its glory. People should not climb the steps of the court to complain that works have not been done,” he said. 

BBMP gets a week

The court ordered the BBMP to ensure that roads in the entire city are pothole-free by the next week. “The commission should start working immediately and note down the details of the repair. A preliminary report should be filed on the quality of the roads by tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. Inspections should be conducted every day and a comprehensive report should be submitted at the end,” the court said. 

The chief justice instructed Ponnanna to ensure that the members of the commission are not obstructed from carrying out their work and provide necessary police personnel for their safety.  The court will hear others aspects of the case on Tuesday. 

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HC sets up panel to inspect pothole repair in Bengaluru

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