Deadline over, BBMP yet to fill 1,337 potholes

Potholes in Bengaluru. (DH Photo)

The BBMP failed to meet the self-imposed deadline of filling potholes by Sunday as the latest numbers show there are still 1,337 craters on the city roads. 

The BBMP's western and Bommanahalli zones account for the highest number of potholes that are yet to be filled. Urban activists have contested the number of potholes the BBMP says are yet to be filled in the eastern zone. 

The civic body started a special drive two weeks ago to fill the craters and employed Python 5000, a self-propelled pothole patching machine. The use of the machine caused traffic congestion but the civic body didn't ditch it and promised to finish the work as per the deadline. 

BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar said the civic body had filled 9,319 potholes out of the 10,656 it had identified during a survey. Of the unfilled potholes, there are 321 in the west zone, 279 in Bommanahalli, 207 in Yelahanka and others. The BBMP claims its Dasarahalli zone has the best roads, with a mere 74 potholes. Interestingly, there are only 77 potholes in the east zone, which covers the IT hubs, whose residents have staged protests over bad roads in recent times, according to the BBMP. 

Activists have contested the figures and asserted that the ground reality was different. They said officials didn't seem to have looked at roads around the International Tech Park Ltd (ITPL) and Graphite India. 

"While the proactive work by the BBMP is welcome, the numbers do not reflect the reality on the ground. Obviously, the commissioner cannot go on counting the potholes. But he can deliver a practical solution by fixing the basic problem of the lack of accountability in the construction and maintenance of the roads by contractors," said a member of the civic group Whitefield Rising. 

The high court recently censured the civic body for the bad roads but also ordered it to compensate the motorists for the injuries caused by the potholes. The court also directed the BBMP to educate people on how to claim the damages caused by the bad roads. 

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