Coming down heavily on the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in connection with pothole menace in the state capital, which is also known as the Silicon Valley of India, the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday stated that filling in of potholes is a constitutional obligation of the civic agency.
Taking up the petition submitted regarding pothole menace in Bengaluru, a bench, headed by Chief Justice Prasanna B. Varale expressed its displeasure that the orders released to repair pothole-ridden roads in the city have just remained on paper.
“The roads in Bengaluru have been in pathetic condition for the last six years. The residents are facing grievances continuously. Potholes have become death traps and many lives are lost,” it said.
The court underlined the action of giving certification for the filling up of potholes by the BBMP only is not appropriate. The BBMP is in charge of filling up potholes, but, it can’t give quality certification in this regard for its own work, it said, adding that in the coming days, the responsibility of quality certification will be given to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
The court also directed that the Chief Engineer or senior engineer must be deputed to monitor the filling up of potholes. The BBMP must submit the status quo report to the NHAI within a week, and an officer deputed by the NHAI should undertake an inspection, it said.
The BBMP should extend all cooperation to the NHAI in this regard and in turn, the NHAI should submit a report on the quality of roads to the court, the bench said.
The court also stated that NHAI can also record the shortcomings of BBMP officers and contractors in its report. It could also give recommendations regarding pothole menace in its report.
BBMP Commissioner Tushar Girinath had earlier stated that Bengaluru is going to be a pothole-free city by November 10 as the work on filling up potholes had been taken on a war-footing.
Everyday 1,000 potholes are being filled in the city and by November 6, 95 per cent of work will be done. The officers have been directed to complete the task by the deadline, he said.