Various agencies have dug up and left them damaged. Protests by the residents fall on deaf ears
By Tamanna Yasmin
Digging of roads is causing misery to citizens in parts of Bengaluru’s Mahadevapura zone. The affected areas include Horamavu, Varanasi Main Road, Kalkere, Babusapalya, TC Palya, and NRI Layout. The onset of monsoon has worsened the situation.
The residents say they have not seen good roads for the past two years. BBMP, BWSSB, BESCOM and GAIL have dug up roads and left them damaged. Commuters meet with accidents.
No early resolution is in sight. The BBMP says the roads will be repaired by 2022.
Residents, particularly children and senior citizens, suffer breathing problems due to dust emitted during the civic works. They say BBMP has taken little action despite numerous complaints.
Bheemappa Bandikeri, a resident of Kalkere, informed The Observer: “They have been digging the roads from almost two years. They don’t seem to have any deadline to complete the work. We see people falling on roads almost every day. I’ve filed many complaints using the BBMP Sahaya App. They are least bothered. The app shows ‘complaint resolved’ without the problem even being attended to.”
Ghanshyam, a resident of Horamavu, said: “300 km of major roads have been dug by BWSSB for laying water pipelines since April 2017; for underground drainage, they have dug around 60 km since January 2019. Owing to this, roads of Horamavu and its surrounding areas are in a very bad state.”
VVS Rao, another resident, complained, “Roads in the Horamavu area are very dangerous for commuters. My wife drops my kid every day to school using this road. I’m worried about their safety. Contractors who dig the roads are least bothered about the public.”
Venkatesh Murthy, executive engineer of BBMP’s Horamavu sub-division, said: “Due to excessive traffic congestion and non-availability of alternative roads, it is becoming very difficult to complete constructions within the stipulated time. Moreover, rain is also becoming a hurdle. BBMP intends to complete all the work and restore the roads to good condition by 2022.”
The affected areas were previously under gram panchayat. BBMP and other agencies began their work last year. It will take considerable time to complete the works, Murthy added.
On August 24, residents of Horamavu organized a protest. They invited residents from surrounding areas who were also aggrieved.
A month before that, over 100 residents of Horamavu protested in front of the BBMP office. Tarun Chhabra, a protester who lives on Varanasi Main Road, said: “The condition of roads is so poor that one can’t imagine walking or driving on them. Every resident is fed up and tired of complaining. We were promised quick action, but no relief yet.”
After the protest, residents of Horamavu and adjacent areas wrote a letter to the chief engineer of the BBMP Mahadevapura zone seeking restoration of roads in ward numbers 25, 26, 51 ,52, 54, 55, and 56.
Babusapalya Rising, a citizens’ organization, has launched an online campaign. It has decided to tweet photos revealing the condition of roads in the area till the problem is fixed. Voice Of Horamavu, another body, repeatedly tweets citizens’ grievances.
Many residents of the other affected areas have taken to Twitter to seek remedies from BBMP.