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'Potholes are a collective responsibility'

With most roads in the city dotted with potholes, the Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) conducted a potholes survey recently.

The Bengaluru Traffic police are doing their bit for the citizens, playing good Samaritans. They are now identifying several waterlogged areas, craters and potholes, fixing many damaged city roads in the process.

With most roads in the city dotted with potholes, the Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) conducted a potholes survey recently. Subsequently, the BTP has taken the plunge to mend the wretched stretches.

It was only two days ago that the Kengeri traffic police filled up a huge crater at the Hoysala Circle. They filled the hole and asphalted it. Recently, Ulsoor traffic police fixed the dividers along the Ulsoor Main Road. The BTP has been doing this with full fervour for so many months now.

However, many citizens do not appreciate what the BTP has been doing as they claim it is the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) job. “We appreciate what the BTP is doing, but isn’t it the BBMP’s job?” asked Shivakumar from Ulsoor. Another citizen said the method which the BTP is following to fix the potholes is unscientific.

“BTP has taken up a great initiative, but I suggest it should approach the BBMP first. The procedure they are following for filling potholes will pose danger to vehicles as the materials used in the mix are often weak. Instead, the BTP should use bituminous materials,” wrote Jayasimha Gowda on Facebook.

Another citizen said: “What the BTP is doing is an eyewash. All the potholes filled by the BTP will wear out sooner as they are not experts in the task.”

However, there is excellent coordination between the BTP and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM). The BTP informed BESCOM to clear electricity lines touching the ground in some areas. Soon after, BESCOM contractors restored the lines.

However, both BESCOM and BTP officials refused to comment when asked about the BBMP’s apathy towards fixing potholes and pruning ‘potentially dangerous’ tree branches.

Not only the civic agencies but also the citizens are doing their bit in addressing the city’s pothole conundrum. For instance, the residents and corporate employees in and around Whitefield have taken the matter into their hands. 

They had earlier filled the potholes in their respective areas under the guidance and assistance of the famous ‘Pothole Raja’, an initiative undertaken by Prathap Bhimasena Rao. 

Besides, there is a considerable amount of pressure on the BBMP to empathise with the residents. Residents of Kasavanahalli took over the job of fixing potholes, a few months ago. They had filled over 60 potholes on the Kasavanahalli Road and other roads in Bellandur.

Sahaya - BBMP’s pothole-fixing app

The BBMP’s pothole-fixing app, Sahaya, is not up to the mark. At least that is what the citizens feel.

“Yes, I have used the app several times. The BBMP responds after a rather long wait. The quality of materials they use and the kind of work they do is not so good. Instead of providing lasting solutions, they always get away with temporary fixes that will not hold for long and wash away during torrential downpours and with heavy vehicles plying,” said Major Santhosh, from Sarjapur Road.

“The app is good, but the implementation and timely response are poor,” he added.

Vishnu Prasad from Bellandur said: “Sahayaa is totally useless, unless there is an audit of at least 10% of the closed consumer requests and their satisfaction index considered for review. Firstly, we need accountability reforms in BBMP with high transparency on issues, fixes and the money trail.”

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