Bangalore,: Old pipelines in the city are being blamed for turning newly asphalted roads into a nightmare for motorists even as the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) squabble over bad road conditions.
While BBMP has blamed BWSSB for digging up nearly 10 per cent of the newly asphalted roads, BWSSB tried to wash its hands off the issue by blaming old pipelines for the problem. On Tuesday, the BBMP estimated that 1.95 lakh sq metres of arterial and sub-arterial roads are in a bad shape.
Terming this as a “criminal offence” and waste of public funds, a senior BBMP official said, “Though we give them the list of roads that we are going to asphalt two months before commencing work, invariably the BWSSB digs up the roads after they are laid. Worse, the roads are not even restored later.”
Admitting that newly-laid roads have been dug, BWSSB’s Engineer-in-Chief T. Venkatraju said, “There are old pipelines in most parts of the city. When roads are asphalted, the movement of heavy rollers damages joints in such pipes, leading to leakage. We are forced to dig the roads to plug such leaks.”
He said BWSSB does not have the funds to restore roads to the original condition. “We have requested the BBMP to restore the roads. The only solution is to change the water pipeline before roads are asphalted. But even for this, huge investment is required,” he added.
Road conditions have worsened also because of indiscriminate digging by telecom companies, who cut roads to lay optic fibre cables, a senior BBMP official pointed out.
“The contractors concerned, in cahoots with some BBMP officials, seek permission to work on a small stretch, but dig up entire roads in the dead of the night. The lack of monitoring and night inspections at the zonal level has led to an increase in such cases,” the official said.