Think like the civic authorities!

Think like the civic authorities!

The battered roads of the City have been witnessing traffic clogs of unprecedented nature in the last few days. Along with the potholes, dug-up stretches and piles of sewage as a result of desiltation have added to the woes of Bangaloreans, who are spending hours together on commuting.

The civic bodies like the BBMP, BWSSB, make tall claims about their pre-monsoon preparedness, but the reality is there for all to see. The City’s roads and drainage system are incapable of withstanding even a couple of hours of shower.

That’s not all. What is quite surprising is to see the civic bodies carry out desilting work in the middle of the monsoon season! The agencies have chosen this season to desilt drains, roads and replace sewage pipes, which should have ideally been done during the summer.

The desilting of roads, drainage and replacement of sewage pipes in areas like Tilaknagar, Shivajinagar, Richmond Road, Hennur Main Road, Lingrajapuram (near St.

Charles School), KR Puram, CV Raman Nagar, NGEF Layout, Magrath Road, Ambedkar Colony on Lazar Road and Mico Layout, to name a few areas, have not only disrupted traffic but also left a bad stench and created health hazards for residents and passers-by.
Pilith, a student, who travels everyday from Kaggadaspura to Brigade Road says that his travel is anything but a comfortable one.

“There is always some road or the other which is dug up and the rains make it even worse for all the vehicles. The area near the Metro station in Ulsoor has overflowing drains which slow down traffic and the stench is  unbearable,” he adds.

Monica, another student, states how dangerous the open manholes can be. “In many areas I have seen these open manholes overflowing with water. And our civic workers have come up such stupid solutions. They either place a barricade or a branch of the tree beside it. They also sometime make a heap of debris in the middle of the road. So, if the commuters are not careful, there are chances of them either falling or colliding,” she explains.

Kiran Jeevan, professor at the department of social work, St Joseph’s College, points out the root cause of all the infrastructural problems. “It’s high time the authorities started planning. They need to plan in advance and also act upon it. Moreover, corruption in these sectors is just too much,” he says.

Another major issue is maintenance. Raj, a professional, observes, “Most times, stormwater drains along the roads are filled with garbage and civic workers don’t clear them before the monsoon. This leads to more clogging and water overflowing on to the roads. If a common man like me can understand this, why can’t they as ‘experts’?”

 Every year, the civic bodies are allocated crores of rupees for maintaining the roads but where that money goes, nobody knows. BBMP commissioner M Lakshmi Narayan, in his defence, states that it is not the BBMP, which digs up the roads. “People should know that it is the BWSSB, KPTCL and to some extent the BESCOM, which dig the roads. And most of the time, after the work is done, they don’t fill it up or repair the roads. The BBMP does that and we end up getting blamed for it,” he adds.

So why did the BWSSB find only the rainy season to start the work? “It’s not like we planned it this way. Maintenance happens throughout the year, but there are few areas which needed attention immediately. In addition, we have also got the funds to remodel the pipes, so four-fold work is taking place in the City. We are trying to wrap up the work as soon as possible,” says a senior officer at the BWSSB, who didn’t want to be named. A diplomatic answer indeed but not a convincing one, until all the claims translate to work on the ground.  

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