Bengaluru roadworks: Bommai to chair inter-agency coordination committee

The condition of the city’s roads and the lack of coordination among civic agencies were among the issues taken up by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai at a meeting with all city MLAs and MPs on Sunday. All through 2021, residents had complained of agencies digging up newly laid roads and remaking them shoddily. Several MLAs reportedly brought this up during the meeting. As a solution, Mr. Bommai announced the formation of an inter-agency coordination committee that he would chair. It would be convened by the Chief Secretary to ensure inter-departmental coordination.

Citizen activists remain sceptical of the initiative, given that previous governments had also set up similar mechanisms to address the lack of coordination between agencies, with little success.

According to sources, Mr. Bommai reportedly pulled up officials for the bad condition of the city’s roads and the delay in works, especially in filling potholes. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has missed several self-imposed deadlines since September 2021 to rid roads of potholes and craters. Unusually heavy rains in October and November resulted in further delays.

“The civic body has completed filling potholes in 80% of the streets and work is remaining on another 750 km of roads. The Chief Minister directed officials to finish filling all potholes in 15 days,” Revenue Minister R. Ashok told presspersons after the meeting. He added that Mr. Bommai set a deadline of March 31 to complete all ongoing works — TenderSURE roads, white-topping, five grade separators, and 950 km of roadworks in 110 villages in the outer zones.

With the tenders for replacing sodium vapour bulbs in street lights with LED bulbs cancelled after the consortium that won the contract failed to deliver, the Chief Minister directed the civic body to replace all faulty bulbs with new sodium vapour lamps by January 31. “The new tenders for replacing them with LED lights will be called at the zonal level, not at the city level, to ensure such a failure doesn’t repeat again,” Mr. Ashok said.

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