Bengaluru civic bodies under fire over substandard road work during Modi’s visit

Bengaluru: Bengaluru Civic bodies, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) have come under scanner as the issue of substandard work during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit is being discussed at the national level.

N.R. Ramesh, BJP President for Bengaluru South, told IANS on Saturday that he has sought information about the road works taken up during PM Modi’s visit through RTI with authorities. “Once I get the information, I will lodge a complaint against the responsible authorities, officers and other parties involved. We are against corruption,” he said.

Sources explained that the contractors had allegedly thrown all guidelines to the air while constructing roads ahead of the PM’s visit. It is alleged that instead of emulsion, kerosene was used which brings down the costs greatly and bitumen which has to be laid at the 110 to 140 degree temperature, has been laid at below 90 degree temperature. The responsible engineer who should have ensured this, has turned a blind eye, they said.

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If proper emulsion is used and bitumen is laid on road with appropriate temperature, even if the road work is done amid rains, the roads won’t develop cracks or cave in, the sources explained.

After the news of newly laid roads in Bengaluru caving in, surfacing of potholes came to light a day after PM Modi’s visit, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sought a clarification from the Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Sources in the party confirmed that PM Modi is upset with the news and concerned about the development, as the party is trying to create a clean image in view of the upcoming Assembly polls. The news of substandard road work in Bengaluru dented the image of the party which is trying to come clean out of 40 per cent commission allegations by Congress.

Considering the seriousness of the issue, Chief Minister Bommai has instructed BBMP Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the caving in of a road which was laid just ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the city.

The road near the Dr B.R. Ambedkar School of Economics (BASE) was laid just a couple of days before Modi’s visit to inaugurate the BASE campus. The Chief Minister has instructed the BBMP Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the shoddy work and take appropriate action against those responsible for it.

In yet another setback to the ruling BJP, Karnataka High Court criticised Bengaluru civic agencies saying that the condition of roads will improve if PM and President visit often. The court also questioned if the PM has to travel on different roads each time for agencies to do their duty.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike drew flak from all corners for spending Rs 23 crore for the facelift of 14 kilometers of roads in Bengaluru ahead of the PM’s recent visit.

The asphalted roads are wearing out at many locations and in some parts the roads are even caving in, exposing the public to danger. People of the surrounding areas of this stretch of roads who were happy feeling that their hiatus with potholes is over are now disappointed.

The authorities have developed Kengeri to Kommaghatta (7 km), Mysuru Road (0.15 km), a stretch after Hebbal flyover (2.4 km), Tumakuru Road (0.90 km) and roads in Bengaluru University campus (3.6 km). BBMP also repaired maidans, fixed street lights, painted roads and kerbs.

The work was carried out on a war-footing amid rains. However, though the roads could hold till PM Modi’s visit, the public started complaining about potholes coming up on these roads and at some points jelly stones surfacing.

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