A casual drive or walk within the city and one is sure to stumble upon a pothole. Motorists and pedestrians feel alike on the deteriorating condition of roads. Daily commuters, who are usually aware of the potholes, navigate avoiding them, but many who don’t either get injured or die.
Dr. Dominic Benjamin of Bangalore Baptist Hospital said, “We have had quite a few unfortunate events where people fell because of potholes and died.” However, what he finds common and alarming are the cases among the two wheeler riders. He said: “When one cruises over a pothole, the spine hurts and the shock absorbers of the body don’t function properly. Over a period of time lot of patients complain of back pains, stress and strain, apart from the usual bruises and injury.”
Besides poor maintenance of roads, other problems like lack of drainage facility, footpaths, reflectors, signals, zebra crossings, bus shelters, and speed breakers add to the woes of local people. Danish Sait, radio jockey with a local station and a resident of Bengaluru said, “I was born and brought up here, it is a fabulous city. Unfortunately, the roads have gotten worse over a period of time. It has become terrible, every time I drive, I feel like I am on moon like terrain.”
However, with an ever increasing population and traffic being a major concern, he empathizes with the civic authorities. “I would like to give the benefit of doubt to the people in charge, as there is traffic everywhere, there is no time and space left for them to block and do their job of filling up craters,” he added.
Various organisations like the Bruhat bengaluru mahanagara palike (BBMP), Bengaluru electricity supply company (BESCOM), Bengaluru water supply and sewerage board (BWSSB), Traffic Management Centre (TMC), Bengaluru development authority (BDA), work hand-in-hand to help curb the situation. They need to ensure that all the spots are identified and properly fixed with the help of contractors and engineers for a long term solution. Mr. R I Kasim, ACP at Bangalore city police said, “We get periodical information on road conditions from the jurisdictional traffic police stations, which we collect and update to the concerned authorities. However during emergencies, we work in collaboration with public.” When asked about the incurable situation and ways to improve it he said, “We are taking up newer projects like white topping of roads and tenderSure roads, In these newer developments, the utilities which were earlier done on the middle of the road, are now shifted to footpaths.” These developments being phased plans, are going to develop over a period of time across all the arterial and sub arterial roads.
Sri M R Venkatesh, engineer in chief from BBMP said, “We have released an app called the Pothole Reporter; here one can locate the pothole. The job is assigned and immediate action is taken, however, full fledged implementation may take some time.”
Saad Khan, film director and who lives in Bengaluru said, “There are bigger pavements than roads in the city, I don’t want it to come to a point where we cannot drive at all.” He also believes that as citizens, instead of complaining we should voluntarily take up initiatives. “I have seen an organisation in Jayanagar, working for the betterment of roads, we should do our bit” he added.