Bangalore roads gobbled up Rs. 2,500 cr in 3 years

Last Updated : 05 September 2011, 02:32 IST

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Of the 923 kilometres of arterial roads and 1,017 kilometres of sub-arterial roads, it is learnt from BBMP officials that most projects of asphalting and maintenance of these roads have been “spilt over” to the current financial year of 2011-12. With incessant rain, increased population and booming infrastructure activity, the streets of Bangalore have turned into scenes from a war-torn region.

Result: An increased estimation of Rs 4, 561.11 crore for the road projects, including grade separators, footpaths and slab covers for Storm Water Drains (SWD). Designed to last at least 10-12 years, according to the Indian Road Congress (IRC), most roads in the City give away due to poor quality.

“The reason for the spillover projects was due to the delay in the presentation of the Budget 2010-11. With a delay of nearly six months, the process of calling of tenders for the road projects and issuing of job codes took the entire last year,” said a highly placed officer in the BBMP.

But was the Rs 2,500 crore wisely spent?

“The current state of roads suggest that the Palike efforts to maintain these arterial and sub-arterial roads has failed miserably. Due to large amount of kickbacks and poor maintenance, there is little that can be expected from the BBMP to lay good roads for the City,” said M N Sreehari, expert member of the IRC.

No answer

With potholes emerging across the City in the beginning of the monsoon season, despite pouring crores of rupees on filling them in 2010-11, the BBMP has been unable to explain the poor quality of work in maintaining the roads.

According to the Palike, while a kilometre of road costs anywhere between Rs 60 to 80 lakh, IRC members claim that it costs at least Rs one crore for a new road to be laid, leading to speculations of huge kickbacks for each kilometre of road that is laid in the City.

And now, after much delay in passing the budget 2011-12, can BBMP yet again embark upon the project of creating a smooth passage for motorists in the year 2011-12?

Development ‘funds’

As per the ‘inflated’ Budget estimates of 2011-12, under various heads, figures show that the Palike has at its disposal Rs 4,500 crore for ‘development’ works and road maintenance. This, apart from the Rs 20 lakh that has been earmarked for each of the 198 wards for development in their wards which can also be utilised for these maintenance of roads.

But will they be utilised for its purpose with quality and consistency?

From Tuesday, Deccan Herald will run a series of stories, covering the status of the arterial and sub-arterial roads in select areas which sees heavy vehicular movement. Readers can send their feedback to dhreporting@deccanherald.co.in 

Published 04 September 2011, 19:29 IST

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