Bangalore: Residents of the garden city had a sigh of relief to see sun light after a gap of three weeks. For most of them it was truly a dark week.
During this crisis, cash-strapped BBMP showed its true color by keeping the drains choked, allowing the waters to fill the roads, thereby creating zillion potholes which will never be closed at least in foreseeable future.
For all the complaints, BBMP had only one answer. After rain stops completely they will do aerial survey to find the condition roads and then take appropriate steps.
We met BBMP contractor Prakash Hegde who was part of the team which did aerial survey yesterday.
Prakash said, “Being a contractor I was happy to see rain battering Bangalore roads from the beginning of November. For me it was turning out to be a golden Diwali as I knew huge contracts are just waiting for me. Whenever rain will stop for a brief period, out of excitement I will make a round trip of my neighborhood to count the number of new potholes created.”
“Yesterday after sun showed its face, we hired a helicopter to do the survey as we expected there would be hardly any roads to drive our SUVs. But most of us were in for a shock. Still there were patches of roads which have survived this record breaking rain. As per BBMP rule unless 80% of the road goes for a toss, new contract will not be given. We will get small contracts, just to do patch work. This is no big gain for us,” he said.
A dejected Prakash added, “We are going through records to find out who got the contract last time for these roads, why he did such kind of work that some patches have still survived in spite of so much rain. There is a consensus among us, we will remove them from our association and recommend BBMP head with whom we have good rapport, to black list such contractors for life. If roads survive, then how we & our families will survive.”
“Like farmers, we also wait for the rain. These rains are like harvesting season for us. Potholes will ensure old roads will go; tenders will come for new roads to be laid. People get productive work, otherwise how long they will do doing useless stuff like breaking stones as part of MGNREGA. Construction of these new roads helps in fulfilling two key objectives of the current government, Make in India & Swachh Bharat. I want to assure public, we don’t use old stuff. We use fresh, new material while we re-laid the roads,” Prakash said.