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"Development Fundamentalism" and BBMP elections

Merry months of May, June and July 09 ahead for Bengalureans--  a grand development bonanza awaits all whther we like it or not. 

  1. signal free roads
  2. Metro rail
  3. 6-lane roads
  4. and later  Mono Rail

are the new icons of "development fundamentalism" in Bengaluru!

About 10 years ago these icons were 

  1. Flyovers (3.5 kms long and others)
  2. Multi Light Masts
  3. Sodium Vapour Lamps   ..... later  on Mercury Vapor lamps
  4. Junction Treatment (105 were done in 2004)
  5. Coordinated Traffic Signalling (later on BTRAC and signal free)

Plans were actually prepared back then by the Chairman and Council members of the Town Planning Commitee of the BBMP and the Engineers were instructed by their Political bosses.

Later we had BATF and now we have the Abide bosses which DIRECTS the Economist Commissioner to convert Bengaluru into a World Class city.

In the run up to the BBMP elections 2009 (postponed for 2 1/2 years) a spate of new neighbourhood level works are coming out of the pipeline and the woodwork.  Misguided BBMP engineers and contractors are out to convert each small street culvert into concrete removing the existing 7-8" thick "chappadi kals" which seems to be squirreled away and may end up in private hands dirt cheap.

Of course this was a phased but strategic process to bring in concrete on a large scale.

It started with repeated lobbying of the interlocking tiles (cobblestones). Got introduced with a sand bed (so huge amounts of sand consumed ended up as silt in the JNNURM scam am sure) based pavements at the same time as OFC .  Did we make this choice? Resulted in a unbeleivable increase in concrete and sand consumption.

Now almost all roads are laid as if they are all arterial roads and have heavy traffic.  So two layers of gravel and asphalt 40 45 mm thick while pothole repairs would have been sufficient. Why suddenly now? Is it BBMP spill over works after five years?  Is there a record of which roads, drains and culverts are done up now? Can we see a BBMP action plan which is timebound?

idontspam's picture

Wishful thinking

Now almost all roads are laid as if they are all arterial roads and have heavy traffic

I wish that were true but I do not believe so. The quality of the roads, even the newly laid ones,  especially residential, leave much to be desired. In fact the police have gone on record to say they couldnt put sensors on even the arterial roads for automating signals because of the poor quality of the roads wore them off much too early.

Public Agenda's picture

two layered asphalting

 Refering to the delayed BBMP works which were suddenly spilled out now (with 3 months to go for BBMP elections)  with two layers on almost all the residential roads.

BMP had launched a blacktopping project in 2002. Wonder whether it was completed?

but now giving two layers is like asphalting arterial roads

IRC Quality specifications, and more people friendly facilities on roads are defintely a long way off

So by refering arterial if I impleied better roads I stand corrected only meant the two layers


Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Black topping/repairs-work orders coincide with monsoon-why?

BBMP work orders - Every time it happens - March - budget - April-tenders - May/june - finalisation/negotiations with CON-tractors - July-work orders issue/men and machineries organised - work starts - July/August - desilting of SDWs done and muck dumped on footpaths - roads are brushed and dirt dumped on footpaths - blacktopping starts and mostly done after midnight -  monsoon first showers - muck on footpath flows back to SDWs - tar/maccadum laid gets loosened -corporators/MLA/Engineers all make a beeline to the work spots after midnight - in some areas, we witness black topping going on even when it is drizzling - citizens sleeping and having sweet dreams of travelling on hole-less roads - some who are awake - just open a side window - look at their MLA etc., supervising (they do not notice their collecting their moolah from contractors for shoddy road works - instead of minimum 17 mm thick layers with temperature of mix duly compromised/gradients are not ensured, laid is only 10 mm thick - 2 mm goes to city minister/MLA - 1 mm goes to corporator - 1 mm to engineers - 3 mm to contractor) - monsoon lands with a roar - SDWs overflow and inundate low lying areas - misery allround - public suffer silently -  LO AND BEHOLD  after 2 months your road is a veritable lunar landscape.  Got the picture? Still no quality control is ensured, check measurements are compromised - fictitious bills prepared and passed - all is well that ends well except for the citizens. 

Solution: Rationalise BBMP budgeting system - why should it be always March? See that all processes are finalised by Feb. work order issued in March - April/May do the work during day time for ensuring transparency and accountability - keep quality control teams on job - citizens street committees should be formed and got involved - because it is their street - if necessary stop the work if the contractor does shoddy work - while taking check measurements - ensure accuracy - see that two bills for the same work are not prepared every year - ensure a good infrastructure and live happily.  

Wishful thinking? Nothing is impossible - Do you have it in you - need and creation of a vibrant civil society? Then go ahead and flaunt it.  Yes. WE CAN.

-Vasanthkumar Mysoremath 

 



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