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Clearing mud and sand accumulated on the road

Hi, In addition to the numerous problems we already have on road and road works in Bangalore. I wanted to bring attention to the huge amount of mud and sand scattered on all roads in Bangalore. It may seem the lowest in the priority of BBMP to clean it up. But clearly there are many issues related to this. Some of them i have observed

  • Dust - on the vehicles, on people using the road, on the house and in the house next to the road. Dust is bad to our health in many many ways. Eg Asthma, Dust Allergies, Red Eyes, respiratory problems etc
  • Dust covers the newly painted roads and within few days the paints are faded. This is adding cost to maintenance
  • Dust and Sand makes junctions slippery. I am sure there are accidents due this.
  • The entire city is dusty and in some way it adds to the stress in my opinion.

I do see there are few automatic cleaning vehicles which operate at will. I got an impression that the owner of the vehicle was trying to clean just because he needed to log his hours and less to do with clearing up the dust. Just wanted to bring this to general discussion and get a better understanding on what folks in praja think about this issue and if there has been any thought and actions put in this regards. Thanks

rs's picture

In fact  I feel that if

In fact  I feel that if they build the roads all the way to the kerb it would go a long way in reducing the dust kicked up. For some reason oftentimes teh stop making the road around 1/2 a metre from the kerb, which results in that area becoming unusable and a lot of dust being kicked up.

Another problem I have, for which I dont really know what to do, is with constructions. Somehow people building a new house seem to believe that the footpath in front of their house belongs to them and can be used for storing material and even building a temporary hut for the construction workers/security. This is really annoying as usually makes the foorpath completely unusable and damages it - and usually they dont bother fixing it when the house is over. It also often means that they have violated the regulations as they have no space in their plot for building even a 6 x 6 x 8 foot house, but that is a different issue. 

Bangalore was never a dusty city thanks to its tree cover and independent houses. But now thats no longer the case with the massacre of trees and the large scale construction projects coming up all over the place.

idontspam's picture

Bad practices

The dust thing can be put down to bad construction practices of BBMP. The quality is nowhere near intl standards. I dont know if the current crop of engineers are either aware or even care.

Regarding usage of public property for personal use. In most countries you have to pay for using public space or for the authorities to clean up the area you mess up. Even when you are granted permission to use the sidewalk etc for your construction you have to make arrangements for a temporary sidewalk and amenities to be put up. If you mess up the costs are so high that the builders themselves clean up the streets after every truck that comes in and out with building material. They even clean the tyres of the trucks leaving the site so they dont have to pay for the truck messing up the entire city on its way.

Vinay's picture

Very important and neglected topic

This topic of mud and dust on the road is one of the most important, and sadly, most neglected topics. Since I came back to India, I have been suffering from Severe so-called "Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis". Though the pollen and other environmental factors also contribute to this, I believe that dust plays a major role in aggravating it.

It is really too bad, and this is the case almost everywhere in the city. Pollution and emission is one thing, but I tell you - there are several hundred kilos of dust all over the city, and this is contributing in a major way to asthma and other illnesses. Moreover, one cannot walk in the open for more than a few minutes without getting one's dress totally dirty and dusty. In Europe I was able to use a white jacket for several weeks at a stretch.

In my opinion, this topic is more important than it looks at first glance, and deserves a lot of attention.

Ravi_D's picture

I agree

Dust plays a big role in degrading quality of live in our city. See my thoughts in this previous post.


srinidhi's picture

What happened to the machines?

There were a few machines/trucks that the BMP had procured which was supposed to do this cleaning automatically, atleast on the main roads..I had also seen one on the silver jublee park road..

wonder what happened..probably rusting in some shed due to lack of spare parts..

srikanthml's picture


i do actually seem them, those white trucks. But rather than picking up the dust and clearing the dirt, it only scatters it to the air to uniformly spread into wider area. I am sure it was bought with good intention but like any other thing in India, there is no investment for maintenance, in fact there is no plan for such word as "maintenance". The is the problem in every thing that is happening. BBMP has a magical expectation that any work done is going to last forever.
silkboard's picture

Our particulate pollution levels - how high?

Srinidhi, at least in Jayanagar, I see at least one machine cleaning the roads every weekend I am in that area. But anyway, cleaning up dust is the other side of this problem, the more important point to figure is why do we 'generate' so much dust in the first place? Also, are we talking just dust here, or particulate air pollution in general?

I was curious to know how Bangalore is placed wrt other cities on these air quality counts. I looked around for following measures:

  • SPM (Suspended Particulate Matter) - plan and simple dust?
  • RSPM (Respirable SPM) - stuff super fine enough for us to breathe in?

I went to KBSCB website to get some data on this. The website just floored me when I found this:

But sadly enough, I just dont know a good combination of date and place to get some data out of this well intended Air Quality Monitoring website.

However, they have some data on this page (, but only RSPM, not SPM.

Peak RSPM at City station during 2007-2008 is listed as 121 (in µg/m3), avg being 78. Maximum permissible limit supposedly is 75 (source: CSE website). Not that bad is it?

What are the SPM/RSPM/NO2/SO2 levels today, in Jan 2009?


srinidhi's picture

SPM data from another source

NDTV does some SPM analysis on this too..or atleast Eureka Forbes does it for them..not sure if they are too accurate..

Mumbai data for last 10 days seems to be more updated than bangalore!

gopalsivas's picture

Lorries are one of the root causes!!

I completely agree to the above mentioned views... THis has been a VERY IMPORTANT but neglected issue.

I have seen multiple times a perfectly laid out road being damaged by heavily loaded lorries and trucks that ply on the road. Majority of these lorries are laden with construction material like Mud, Cement, Sand, Jelly material - where will all the new buildings come from!! I have seen right in front of me so many lorries loaded excessively spilling their loaded material on good quality roads when they go on a speed breaker or when they apply break - just like that. Many times I have had to break suddenly to avoid the spray of sand and jelly! Any bike riding citizen will agree with me in Bangalore that we wear helmets more to protect ourselves from the dust and pollution caused by those dreadful lorries rather than to protect our heads! Once I have seen a lorry drop part of its mud load onto the road and it went off. It was not a small quantity, huge lump of mud that could fill one auto rickshaw trailer! In the rainy season, nothing else is required to make the road more dangerous.

Empty lorries are the worst... they have the residue of the unloaded stuff (typically cement residue) and they go at such full speeds contaminating the entire route on their ride!! Cement dust is the most dangerous to our lungs. I travel everyday on the ITPL road to Hebbal and believe me everyday my helmet gets a coating of black coloured cement, dust, mud all combined. The worst nightmares are during rains!! Can someone who has got the authority and the wherewithal (we can not take the law into our hands), act?

Simple measures to ensure that...

1. The lorries entering city limits and major roads are having a DEFINED STANDARD and can only enter if they satisfy those criteria - this way, breakdowns can be avoided. These standard could include – maintenance of clean lorries, proper offloading of material to ensure no residue is there to be sprayed around after the lorry is unloaded, regular checks of lorries to ensure they don’t break down in the middle of the road causing jams.

2. Checks on the load levels of lorries to ensure that they run smoothly and don’t cause excessive stress damage to the roads.

Regards Gopal.S

silkboard's picture

Anyone willing to do more?

We can get started on raising the pitch on this issue - pollution and air quality - by getting together to track our city's air quality and any projects that may have been planned but not progressing well?

Consider this:

  • All the autos of the city are yet to convert to CNG. The deadlines have been moving for last 3 years!
  • Mumbai took the bold step of banning cabs older than 25 years? Can our city do the same, like not allowing old or polluting vehicles (trucks, mentioned in some comments) from plying in the city?
  • What is BMTC's program to go more green? Any R&D with electric, or CNG buses?

Once we get started, we will find more things to track and spread awareness about.

We can start by just collaborating "virtually" on the website - take one one topic each and write in detail (auto CNG status, BMTC's green programs). I am sure that once we raise the profile of this topic (air quality), we will get more people to join the ranks and help do more than just tracking. comment guidelines

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