HC pulls up top officials over road maintenance

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Bangalore: he Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) non-compliance of an order of the Karnataka High Court in maintaining roads has resulted in potholes, it was alleged in a contempt of court petition on Wednesday.

After a preliminary hearing, a Division Bench comprising Justice N.K. Patil and Justice B. Manohar ordered issue of notices to Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath and BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan asking why action should not be initiated against them for not complying with the direction of a court-appointed expert committee.

The Bench passed the order on a petition filed by K.N. Subba Reddy, one of the petitioners in the public interest litigation (PIL) petitions filed in 2004–05. Based on complaints made on bad conditions of roads in these PILs, the court in September 2005 had constituted an expert committee, headed by Capt. Raja Rao, a retired chief engineer of the Water Resources Department.

The committee had submitted five reports on bimonthly basis, making 112 recommendations.

Finally on February 8, 2012, a Division Bench headed by the then Chief Justice disposed of these PILs after the BBMP gave an undertaking to the court that it had already taken steps to implement 95 recommendations; it sought six months to implement 12 remaining recommendations (the BBMP had agreed to implement 107 of the 112 recommendations).

Meanwhile, petitioner’s counsel A.V. Amaranathan on Wednesday contended that over the past month, the media had been highlighting the bad conditions of many roads in the city while alleging that the BBMP is spending more money from the exchequer to fill the potholes instead of maintaining the roads as per the recommendations made by the committee.

It has been alleged in the plea that the authorities have “wilfully” disobeyed the undertaking given to the court earlier.

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