Halted white-topping spells a pause to biz

BBMP City COVID-19 Economy Governance

BBMP has stopped work in Indiranagar due to Covid.

Shop owners on 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar, are distressed as BBMP has paused white-topping work due to the Covid situation, almost blocking entrances to their establishments. 

“People are apprehensive to come to the shop not because of Covid, but because they have to carry their bikes… on their shoulders. Mountain bikes are heavy, and hopping over a drain is not easy. The work started a month ago. They dug up the entrance. Little work has been done. Covid and then this have discouraged the customers, making it difficult for the shop owners here,” Shariq Rehman, Owner of Life Behind Bars Cycles, informed The Observer. 

Motorists who want to visit a car detailing shop have to drive over wooden beams to enter it. “Customers do not want to come in as they have to drive over two wooden beams which do not seem reliable. The work has been going for a month and they have been saying the work will be completed in 2-3 days for the past week,” said Rohit, the person in charge of 3M Car Care, Indiranagar. 

According to a December 7, 2020, Bangalore Mirror report, BBMP started the work on the request of Indiranagar residents. The report said: “Following suggestions from resident groups, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has promised to redesign Indiranagar 100 Feet Road, which is going to be white-topped in a month’s time.” 

White-topping is often done on an existing asphalted road. The term white-topping refers to covering a road with cement and concrete. Although, concrete roads last more than asphalted roads, building their pavements cost more than asphalted roads and re-pavement causes inconvenience. 

According to an article on Bright Hub Engineering, an online platform for engineers, “Concrete roads have a long service life of forty years, whereas asphalt roads last for ten years. Moreover, during this service life concrete roads do not require frequent repair or patching work like asphalt roads.” 

Rehman said he has to carry bicycles on his shoulder and hop over an approximately two-foot-wide open drain. 

The entrances that are dug up for the white-topping project are for a new drainage system and sidewalks. “Along with the entrance being blocked, the drainage system was also disconnected for the new drain which is part of the white-topping project,” he added. 

Customers of these shops find it difficult to park their vehicles and even enter the establishments. 

Shashankh CK, a customer of Rehman’s Life Behind Bars Cycles, said: “I can’t ride or roll my bike to the shop anymore. I am a mountain biker and my bike needs repair frequently. I love my bike. Getting it repaired has become a task.” 

BBMP had to halt the work because some residents of the area contracted Covid-19. 

Geetha, Executive Engineer, White Topping Division, BBMP, said: “The white topping work on the road had to be stopped as a few people in the area have turned positive. We were laying the drainage pipes first, hence the road is still dug up.”  

With a second fresh wave of Covid-19 raging across the country, businesses that were already limping because of last year’s lockdowns are now bearing the brunt of BBMP’s halted road work. The 14-day corona curfew from the night of April 27, 2021, could deal another body blow to their businesses. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *