Commuters understand the plight of riding in Bengaluru roads, which are filled with potholes. The challenge of manoeuvrability gets quite real for daily commuters, who at least once have avoided an accident or suffered injuries while trying to avoid a pothole in Bengaluru. Long gone unnoticed, the issue of terrible roads in Bengaluru has now gained traction and resulted in city-wide protests.
Protests over potholes take over B'luru
Activists in Bengaluru geared up to protest pothole-ridden roads across the city by performing 'pothole pooja' (worshipping potholes) as the government is turning a blind eye to the plight of riders.
B. Clip Alumni Association and Karnataka State Motorists Association have given October 30 deadline to the ruling BJP government to get rid of potholes in Bengaluru. "If the administration does not respond, 'pothole pooja' programme will be taken up all across the city in every ward with an intention to embarrass authorities and get them working," explained Kavita Reddy, the Vice President of B. Clip Alumni Association.
Activists gathered around a 3x3 pothole, spread vermillion, embellished it with flowers, performed aarti and broke a pumpkin and prayed to the pothole not to harm anyone as the government is doing nothing about it.
The vehicle riders gave thumbs up and said a big yes to the protest. Some of them even joined the unique protest. The government and police officers who passed by pretended that they did not see the function which was intended to mock them.
Where did Rs 20,000 crore go?
Activists from the opposing Aam Aadmi Party also conducted protests in the city, demanding accountability of the funds allotted for repairing roads in Bengaluru. According to AAP state convener Prithvi Reddy, the state government spent Rs 20,000 crore in the last five years on repairing roads in Bangalore. However, the condition of the roads paint a different picture as accidents and deaths due to potholes remain a common tragedy.
AAP is demanding a white paper on where the money was spent, details of the officials who were awarded the contract to carry out the works and warranty on those roads. The protestors have a 15-day deadline set for the CM, failing to which the party plans to approach the court demanding intervention.
FIRs against officers for negligence
Owing to the condition of the roads, which disrupt the flow of traffic and cause accidents, the Bengaluru traffic police initiated proactive measures and even filed FIRs against officers of civic agencies for negligence.
"Police are identifying potholes and informing authorities concerned to ensure smooth vehicular movement to avoid deaths and injuries to vehicle riders due to potholes," Additional Commissioner (Traffic) Dr B. R. Ravikanthe Gowda said.
The police are taking photos of potholes, which will be categorised into major, minor and cross roads and updated with photographs online to civic agencies like Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Public Works Department (PWD) and Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA), he explained. The Bengaluru traffic police have filled as many as 500 potholes themselves.