It is common to take up road repair works every time a VVIP visits the City. These repairs were done because of the President’s visit. By December, we will start asphalting roads across the City,” is all that the BBMP commissioner Laximinarayana could say, when asked how a road that was filled with potholes was fixed overnight while others remain in bad condition.
For months, Bangaloreans have been crying hoarse about the bad roads but nothing happened.
The BBMP officials have been giving one excuse after another — budget, sewage pipes being replaced and the most common one — heavy rains.
However, a visit by the President of India, was enough to wake up the BBMP and push them to patch up the craters and potholes.
The fact that the BBMP managed to fix a particular stretch overnight proves that it is possible for them to start work and repair the other roads as well.
This partisan attitude has irked Bangaloreans. Citizens are fuming because there are no motorable roads in Bangalore.
The BBMP can’t wait till December for the rains to completely stop and then take up repair work.
Some semblance of a road needs to be restored all over the City for people to commute on them.
Suraj, a postgraduate student, says, “This is not something new to the City. You know there is a VVIP visit when the roads are spick and span. The City has been in a mess for months now and if they can repair one road for a VVIP, then why not the others for the lakhs of
Suresh, a businessman, travels frequently out of the country and is peeved by the sad condition of the new international airport road.
“If it is only the VIP movement the BBMP is concerned about, then they should at least see how badly-maintained roads leading to the international airport are. So many VIPs travel on that road. If basic repair is done, people will save so much time in travelling. These days, ask anyone and they will tell you how most of their time is being wasted in traffic jams, all because of the bad roads!” he adds.
PM Devaiah, a corporate lawyer, says that it’s the procrastinating attitude of the officials that bothers him.
“The BBMP officials work only when it suits them. They don’t work because they are obligated to give good infrastructure to the public. At the same time, one also knows that this kind of overnight repair work doesn’t stay long. The tarred roads will come back to their original condition within a week as the officials wouldn’t have met with of any of the standard operating procedures to re-lay the roads. Only more public money has been wasted on yet another VVIP,” he adds.
So what is the solution?
Vijayan Rao, who works at a risk management financial company, states that the first solution is in the change of attitude.
“The BBMP feels Bangalore is only MG Road, Old Airport Road, Indiranagar etc. They need to realise that most of the citizens, who work in these CBD offices, come from other areas. It’s time they started thinking of the City as a whole. Another solution would be to remove all the second and third-grade contractors and give the job to a corporate company, who can be held responsible and accountable for the public money. The contract should be given to a different company every three years so that it keeps everyone on their toes,” he adds. Good suggestion. But who is listening?