In an instance that shows negligence on part of the civic authorities, the Bengaluru traffic police was recently seen filling the deadly potholes in the city. The city traffic police has identified more than 350 deadly potholes, including flyovers in Bengaluru, and started pothole filling drive to avoid accidents.
This comes after a 28-year-old biker died after he collided with a car while trying to avoid a pothole along Varthur Road on April 23.
For the last two weeks, Bengaluru has been receiving heavy showers. Known for its killer potholes, traffic snarls, water logging, the city received an average 152mm rainfall on Tuesday.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic, P Harishekaran said traffic police has identified potholes in major roads, junctions and flyovers. “We are not the institution to fill the potholes in the city, but since we are concerned about the lives of the people and we can’t wait till the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to take up the issue and so we are filling the potholes. Last year during monsoon, 20 people died due to the deadly potholes,” he said.
Apart from filling the potholes, the traffic police is also working to clear the stormwater drains (SWD) which get filled up with garbage and plastic waste. Harishekaran said, “the garbage in the SWD is cleared by us so that the water will not come up on the road. We have also made a checklist on the roles of the traffic police during the rain and we are ready to face monsoon.”
Recently, Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister G. Parameshwara chaired a meeting with senior BBMP officials, including civic body Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad and Bengaluru Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun to discuss rain preparedness measures.
Parameshwara has directed the city civic body to be on high alert and take all measures to ensure the safety of citizens and prevent water logging and fill the potholes.
BBMP chief engineer Venkatesh told indianexpress.com, “we have identified the roads which are damaged and started filling the potholes. More than 300 km of major roads, arterial and non-arterial roads are been identified for the repair in all the eight zones.”
According to Venkatesh, the roads in Dasarahalli, RR Nagar, South and East zones got damaged due to the water pipe laying work carried out by the BWSSB (Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board).
M N Srihari, traffic expert and former advisor to the state government on matters of traffic and road infrastructure, said the potholes appear on the road repeatedly due to the poor quality of work done by the civic authorities. “The pothole will occur basically for one important reason which is whenever rainwater come into the contact of bitumen roads, the bitumen will be stripped away from the aggregates. This happens when they don’t put the proper quantity and quality of bitumen during the construction of the road.”
“Generally 5.5% of bitumen should be used, but the civic body is using just 3% of bitumen, hence due to one rain the road is damaged and the potholes are created,” Srihari said.