Tall plans but no vision

On paper

Tall plans but no vision

It looks like the guardians of the City have lost the plot. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) budget for the year was a replica of the state budget, thanks to its lack of vision.

The same sprucing up of roads, pedestrian paths, beautifying public spaces are back on paper. However, the BBMP is
not only cash strapped but also clueless on prioritising the work.

M Lakshminarayana, BBMP commissioner, informs that it would be difficult to carry out work related to roads and stormwater drains before the rainy season. “The works on 95 roads across the City have been completed. The pavements will also be done along with road repairs,” says Lakshminarayana.

Some of the projects that would be completed are steel bridges between Hudson Circle and Minerva Circle, and another from Shivananda Circle to Seshadripuram Railway Underbridge, and an elevated road between Sony World Junction and Kendriya Sadan in Koramangala. “These are tentative projects, which we intend to take foward and complete before our tenure is over.

But every big project has its challenges and we have to work together with the other agencies. The tenders for all these projects have already been called,” informs Lakshminarayana. He further states that road repair, tarring and pedestrian paths have been completed on Mysore Road, Kasturba Road, New Airport Road near Devanahalli. When asked for names of specific roads that will be tarred under the present budget, no official could give a clear answer.

The BBMP has to work in tandem with the other two main government bodies — Bangalore Water Supply And Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) to carry out any work related to roads and garbage management. But officials of these two departments confess that they are hardly consulted by the BBMP before they begin work on a particular stretch of road.

Senior officials with the BESCOM inform that they first seek permission of the BBMP before laying high tension underground cables either by open trench method or high density drilling method. “Before laying the cables, on the request of the BESCOM, the BBMP examines and intimates the necessary road-cutting charges only then is the work allowed to begin, informs Nanjaya, chief engineer and co-ordinating officer with the BBMP.

The case is almost the same with the BWSSB when they lay the pipes. T Venkataraju, chief engineer, BWSSB says, “The BBMP authorities are supposed to study the road that is proposed to be tarred and inform us so that we can see if any underground pipes are weak or any other work needs to be carried out before the tar is laid. But this is not being done,” he says.   

The ordinary people say that the promises look good on paper but they don’t believe that the BBMP will deliver anytime soon. KVG Nair, a senior citizen, says
that he’s afraid to negotiate the uneven and broken pedestrian paths. “The pavements need urgent repair due to dislodged tiles. People dump garbage in all corners of the street and it is not cleared on time.”

Sarita, an employee with ANZ Bank, observes, “You notice that the roads are tarred when there is a VVIP visit in the City but otherwise they are neglected.”
Dharani, a professional, sums up, “The officials are busy filling their pockets and nothing is being done for the City.”

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