Four people have died in Bengaluru within 10 days and all these deaths have been caused by the potholes on the roads. The state government as well as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are in a disarray with deadlines after deadlines promised everytime a life is lost. The latest was on October 10 when a young girl lost her life.
Bhartiya Janata Party, the principal opposition party, decided to take the government head on and organised a protest outside the BBMP. More than 2000 supporters of the party arrived and shouted slogans for a few hours outside the main gate of the municipal corporation with the aim to lay siege.
They also brought along with them a chain and lock to symbolically lock down the BBMP since they allege it has ceased to function effectively.
According to a rough estimate, there are more than 16,000 potholes in the city. A few weeks ago, around 9,000 potholes were estimated to be there on the Bengaluru roads but the number has kept on increasing as the rains continue to pound the city.
The officials in the civic department have assured work to begin on a war-footing but only after the rains stop.
Senior BJP leader and MLA, S Suresh Kumar speaking to India Today said that the potholes in the city are actually, “Congress sponsored potholes and have become the main killers of road users today”. He further added that this is allegedly due to the nexus between the BBMP councilors and contractors.
BJP’s protest was led by former Deputy CM R Ashok and MP Shobha Karandlaje. The protest was against the poor condition of the roads and mounting problems related to garbage in the silicon valley of India.
Some supports also brought with them an effigy of Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George and alleged that he along with CM Siddaramaiah are directly responsible for the pathetic state of affairs in the city.
Police personnel were posted at all the main entrances of the BBMP and the gates were locked to prevent them from entering and indulging in vandalism. Some BJP youth workers however, did try to climb the main gate but the police managed to bring them down before detaining some senior leaders.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on the other hand has blamed torrential rains for the potholes in the city and has promised that he will ensure in a fortnight that no potholes are left in the city.
The promise came after the Lokayukta took suo moto congnisance of the issue.
It has directed officials of the civic body to take effective steps to fill all the potholes as expeditiously as possible. It also pulled up many BBMP officials and wants them to submit a report within two weeks.
Moreover, it also pulled up BMRCL for maintenance of roads. The Lokayukta has now sought information on steps taken by the BBMP to maintain roads over the past 12 months and also what steps were taken to fill up potholes and the money spent.