Craters everywhere!

Negotiating potholes

Craters everywhere!

This rainy season has seen potholes on the City roads like never before. Crater-like pits on major roads are leading to accidents and deaths almost every other day, not to speak of the increasing instances of back injuries to motorists, thanks to the roller-coaster rides. But what is disturbing is the indifference of the authorities who seem to be endlessly chalking out elaborate plan only on paper, with nothing concrete being done.

Metrolife interacted with the authorities to understand why nothing is being done and asked regular motorists about the problems they face. 

Every nook and corner of the City has roads that are filled with potholes. Two-wheeler riders are the worst affected and find it difficult to negotiate the potholes, given that some are deep enough to suck two-wheelers in. When it rains, potholes turn into cesspools, making it difficult for riders to calculate its depth.

According to additional commissioner of police B Dayananda, two-wheeler riders form almost 75 per cent of the total vehicles on Bangalore roads and he concedes that accidents caused by potholes are increasing at a steady pace. “Increasing potholes are a major hindrance to the smooth flow of traffic and lead to traffic pile up. In a bid to avoid the potholes, two-wheeler riders tend to cross the path of another vehicle leading to accidents,” Dayananda reasons.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) commissioner M Lakshminarayana points out that a lot of construction work across the City has rendered the City’s roads unmotorable and has led to potholes. “One of the main reasons for pothole is the leakage of underground water pipes. Continuous seepage from these underground pipes damages the road,” he says. Talking about the method of rectifying potholes, Lakshminarayana informs, “It is impossible to do a regular road asphalt because it is the rainy season. Instead of hot tar, we will mix cold tar and fill the potholes as it will last longer.”   

Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) officials claim that they attend to complaints pertaining to underground pipe breakage and seepage. BWSSB chairman Gaurav Gupta observes, “The main problem for breakage and leakage of pipes are the many road widening projects being undertaken across the City. This damages the surface of the road. Increasing vehicular strength on the roads also damages the underground piping system,” he avers.

Regular commuters are the worst affected. The impact is different for two-wheelers, four-wheelers and autorickshaws. Ashish Patel, a software engineer with McAfee says, his daily drive is spoilt by the potholes on the road. “Thanks to all the potholes, my car service charges have been soaring. When it rains, you cannot spot the potholes and people tend to fall in them,” says Ashish. 

Jayanti Bhattacharya, who runs a store, attributes the callous attitude of the authorities to corruption. “We accept and live with mediocrity at its worst. Today, we drive in and out of potholes. This reflects the state of corruption in the government bodies,” she says.

Chethan Shivakumar, an IT professional, recounts his worst experience when he says, “When I was heading from Westside signal to Shoolay Circle, the right wheel of my car went into a pothole, which was almost two feet deep. This damaged the car’s front suspension and needed a replacement. Who should I ask to bear the repair cost? The two-wheelers trying to cross our path also cause accidents.”

Ananth, who runs a restaurant on Hennur Main Road, says he has lost count of the number of times he had to send his car for service, “When I transport food by car to the restaurant, it spills.

The potholes are a mess and driving on them a nightmare. Looks like nobody cares,” he sums up.

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