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After 4 deaths in October, BJP attacks Congress govt over Bengaluru’s potholes

Opposition leaders say excess monsoon rain no excuse for the crumbling roads in state capital

india Updated: Oct 12, 2017 08:48 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
BJP members stage a protest against the Congress government in Bengaluru on Wednesday. (HT photo)

Leaders of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party launched an attack against the Congress government in Karnataka after four people died in state capital Bengaluru while trying to manoeuvre around cratered roads since the beginning of October.

On Tuesday, 21-year-old G Veena, a resident of Devanahalli, was killed after the two-wheeler she was riding pillion on was hit by a truck when the rider swerved to avoid a pothole.

On Sunday, 47-year-old Radha Ajanappa was run over by a truck near Nayandahalli. Her nephew, too, had tried to avoid a pothole when they were hit. On October 4, Anthony Joseph, 55, and his wife Sagai Mary, 52, died in a similar road accident on the Mysuru Road flyover.

On Wednesday, the BJP held a large protest in the city condemning the incidents and criticising the Congress for failing to ensure proper infrastructure.

Former chief minister and BJP state unit president BS Yeddyurappa tweeted that he was saddened by the deaths. “While (the Karnataka chief minister is) busy in corruption, innocent people paying with their lives for (Siddaramaiah’s) incompetency.”

Chief minister Siddaramaiah has blamed heavy monsoon rains for the damaged roads.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has been given 10 days to fill over 15,000 potholes in the city.

Bengaluru urban district has received 45% excess rainfall since the beginning of the southwest monsoon, according to the Karnataka state natural disaster monitoring centre.

But BJP leader and former minister KS Eshwarappa said this was no excuse. “The state government is making irresponsible statements. If the quality of the work is good it will be able to withstand such rain. If even after that there are potholes it is the duty of the civic authorities to fill these potholes,” he said.

The local administration has also come in for criticism from the traffic police department. Roopa D Moudgil, the inspector general of police and commissioner for traffic and road safety, said the department proposed amendments to the Indian Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act.

“Some of the amendments we have proposed are making the civic construction agency criminally liable for lapses,” Moudgil said, about the suggestions she has sent to Parliamentary select committee.

Despite repeated attempts, Bengaluru development minister KJ George could not be through phone calls and messages. He has tweeted that work on filling potholes has been expedited.

First Published: Oct 12, 2017 08:40 IST