Three engineers get civic body notice over shoddy road work

Published on Jun 25, 2022 12:46 AM IST

Social media was flooded with videos of the newly asphalted road being peeled by hand, indicating the poor quality of engineering.

The BBMP had relaid the Mariyappanapalya Main Road on Bangalore University campus which Modi took to reach an event at Dr BR Ambedkar School of Economics (BASE) on June 20. (Representational picture)
The BBMP had relaid the Mariyappanapalya Main Road on Bangalore University campus which Modi took to reach an event at Dr BR Ambedkar School of Economics (BASE) on June 20. (Representational picture)
BySharan Poovanna

Bengaluru

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the city’s civic body, on Friday issued a show-cause notice to three of its engineers for the substandard quality of asphalting roads ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city on June 20.

The BBMP had spent 23 crores to fix 14 kms of roads in Bengaluru to ensure the Prime Minister’s visits in the city would be a smooth ride, attracting criticism from the residents who are forced to endure hardships on a daily basis.

The BBMP had relaid the Mariyappanapalya Main Road on Bangalore University campus which Modi took to reach an event at Dr BR Ambedkar School of Economics (BASE) on June 20.

“It has come to the knowledge of the undersigned through the media that asphalting taken up for Mariyappanapalya Main Road on Bangalore University Campus is reported to be substandard work. There are visuals that the layer of asphalt is being removed by hand. By observation of the visuals, it is felt that there is no Standard Operation Procedure followed in the execution of the above said work,” the BBMP’s chief engineer (road infrastructure) said in his notice issued on Thursday.

Social media was flooded with videos of the newly asphalted road being peeled by hand, indicating the poor quality of engineering.

“When PM came to Karnataka, he visited Bengaluru and launched several programmes. A fortnight before his visit when the programme was fixed, we took action to keep all the roads that he would take in good condition. Over 14 km of roads was fixed at 23 crore to ensure the Prime Minister’s route was pothole free, painted and all cleaned up,” BBMP special commissioner (projects) Ravindra PN said on Tuesday, HT reported.

Bengaluru led the country in registering cases against civic authorities for causing death due to negligence in 2020,as per the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) latest report. Its 18 cases account for 85% of all such cases reported in the country. Mumbai and New Delhi accounted for the three other cases reported in this category, while all other major cities didn’t book any civic authorities for death due to negligence.

The residents have also raised the issue multiple times with the authorities concerned but to no avail.

“The road near the Dr. BR Ambedkar School of Economics(BASE) was laid just a couple of days before Modi’s visit to inaugurate the BASE campus. The chief minister has instructed the BBMP commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the shoddy work and take appropriate action against those responsible for it,” chief minister Basavaraj Bommai had said on Thursday.

According to a preliminary inquiry, the road caved in due to leakage of a water pipe, according to a statement by the Chief Minister’s Office.

“In the pothole matter, there is a post on twitter about one pothole that has emerged. In the post itself the person has said that there was a pothole here for a long time and when the PM came, the road was repaired and now there is seepage. He also said that 6 crore was spent on this. It is clear that we did not lay a new road. After the CM stated it yesterday, we have asked our special commissioner to do an inquiry,” Tushar Girinath, the chief commissioner of the BBMP, said on Friday.

The BBMP said that it spent 35 lakh to fix a 150 metre stretch on Mysuru Road before the PM’s visit. According to the BBMP’s estimates, one kilometre of a two-lane road under the Smart City project costs anywhere between 7.5 crore and 11 crore (including underground ducts), and the same for a tar road is around 80 lakh to 1.3 crore.

According to the BBMP, it spent 6.05 crore to lay 3.6 kms of asphalt on the University Road.

Prime Minister Modi on Monday announced and laid the foundation for over 27,000 crore worth projects in the city ahead of the BBMP polls in which the Bharatiya Janata Party hopes to regain power.

The Bommai-led BJP government in December had said that there are around 13,847 km of arterial and sub-arterial roads in Bengaluru, of which only 295 km is said to be in good condition, and another 246-km is riddled with potholes.

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