The elections brought work on infrastructural projects to a virtual standstill.
A few roads in the City that were tarred have been rendered useless again, thanks to the breakage of underground water pipes.
Sadly, no one is in a hurry to fix the problem. Huge quantities of water continue to go down the drain at a time when the City is grappling with shortage of water.
Metrolife interacted with Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) officials, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and ordinary people to understand the situation.
BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana points out that construction works across the City have rendered the roads unmotorable and created potholes.
“One of the main reasons for the creation of potholes is the leakage of underground water pipes. Continuous seepage from these pipes damages the road,” he says.
About the method of rectifying potholes, Lakshminarayana informs, “It is impossible to do a regular road asphalt and now with the monsoons approaching fast, we are forced to re-lay roads that have been damaged by the leakages.
Instead of hot tar, we will mix cold tar and fill the potholes as it will last longer.”
KT Nagaraj, superintendent engineer, road infrastructure, BBMP says that from this year’s BBMP budget allocation, 96 roads across the City have been tarred which amounts to 127 km.
“We are aware that some of the newly-tarred roads have been damaged due to underground pipe leakage but we have turned in the list of roads that we will be tarring and the roads that have perennial leakage to the BWSSB officials. It is for them to rectify the leakages,” he explains.
BWSSB officials claim that they attend to the complaints pertaining to underground pipe breakage and seepage.
“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,” reasons the official.
Commuters are the worst affected. The impact is different for two-wheelers, four-wheelers and autorickshaws. Underground pipe leakages not only weaken the road but also cause the road to cave in, which makes travelling a harrowing experience.
Sindhu, an entrepreneur, says that repeated complaints to the BBMP seem to have
fallen on deaf ears.
“Because of elections, a coat of tar has been laid on a few of the roads but nothing is being done to either set right the potholed roads or fix the underground leakages,” she says.
She adds, “We can’t see the roads during the day because of traffic jams and poor lighting at night makes it difficult to commute.”
Chaitra, an employee with IBM, couldn’t agree more when she says, “Both the
authorities and people are Indifferent when it comes to maintaining the existing infrastructure in good condition. The authorities don’t bother to repair the road and make them motorable.”
Eshan Arif lives in RT Nagar and travels regularly to the central part of the City.
He confesses that he is forced to take alternative routes due to the poor road condition.
“Seeking an alternative route is not only a sheer waste of time but even that doesn’t force the authorities to repair the roads. Underground water pipe leakage is a perpetual problem in the City,” he says.