Will attend to flooding, says new BBMP administrator

Will attend to flooding, says new BBMP administrator

With the term of the municipal council coming to an end, an administrator steps in

Sri Sai Layout, near Vaddarapalya on Agara Main Road, Hennur, was among the many areas in Bengaluru flooded after last week’s downpour. DH Photo by S K Dinesh

Gaurav Gupta, the IAS officer who took charge as administrator of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike on September 11, says he will pay immediate attention to the city’s flooding and road problems.

The term of the municipal council has ended. Gupta will continue in an all-powerful role till a new council is elected. The pandemic is likely to push the elections which is likely to be held by December.

 Here is what Gupta plans for the city

What are your plans to trace Covid cases?

The pandemic was unforeseen and unprecedented. Our experts have been working according to the design and framework, chalked out by the Central and state governments. Officers supervise quarantine, home isolation, hospitalisation and other aspects connected to the pandemic. The system has been working well and we will carry out improvements as and when necessary.

The rains have once again exposed the infrastructural shortcomings of the city. How do you propose to address them?

Bengaluru has always had flash rains, leading to temporary inundation.  They happen in one part of the city and don’t happen in some others parts.

I have helmed affairs at BWSSB and I am well aware of the challenges. Storm-water drains and lakes have separate chief engineers. We will ensure they are free of encroachments. We will also carry out major works on storm-water drains. 

The government is considering increasing the number of municipal wards from 198 to 225. What are the challenges involved?

This has been under discussion for a while now. There can’t be too many because they will be difficult to manage and there can’t be too few because they won’t serve the local population. There should be a number that functions efficiently.

Concrete-topping of roads has resumed in several parts of the city. Why are these not built at the same level as the old roads?

I have not worked so closely with some of the city’s infrastructure projects. I will have to study the matter before I can comment on this issue.

Do you plan to strengthen the relationship between the BBMP and the resident welfare associations?

The associations form a bridge in matters of civic governance. We could collaborate with them, especially in garbage clearance and solid waste management. The associations can also help us manage street lights and roads. 

What are your plans to improve roads?

A number of major projects have to be completed in a time-bound manner. We also intend to fill the potholes. I will visit a few places and inspect ongoing works soon.

BBMP had a helpline for citizens to report potholes. It went defunct. Any plans to revive it?

We will relaunch it very soon.

Many roles

Gaurav Gupta is principal secretary of the commerce and industries department, and administration of BBMP is a new, simultaneous responsibility. He had earlier helmed the BWSSB.