HC directs NHAI to inspect quality of pothole filling work in Bengaluru roads

05:09 PM Nov 02, 2022 | PTI |

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to conduct an inspection on the quality of the potholes filling or repair work undertaken by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and its contractors, and to submit a detailed report within four weeks.


The direction came from the bench comprising Chief Justice P B Varale and Justice Ashok S Kinagi, hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) regarding the bad condition of roads in Bengaluru.

BBMP, the city’s civic body, submitted a report to the HC on Wednesday on the status of the pothole-filling work undertaken.

It was submitted that out of the 25,032 potholes identified, 13,843 were filled up. Many more were in various stages of being repaired and there were 6,689 potholes that will be filled up within four weeks.

The HC noted that even after six years of the PIL along with several orders of the HC over the years, and several reports and affidavits submitted by the BBMP, “the road conditions in Bengaluru city is not very positively changed and the unfortunate sufferers are the citizens of the city.” The court, which also pointed to deaths due to potholes, said, “This court has observed in various orders that the condition of roads and particularly potholes led to an unfortunate loss of precious human lives.” It was also noted during the hearing that BBMP seemed to be engaged in cosmetic surgery of roads in the city.


To a question about the quality of the repair work undertaken by the contractors to whom the BBMP has entrusted the task, the court was told that civic body officials themselves file a satisfaction certificate after the private contractors undertake the work.

The HC, however, not happy with this process, said: “There is no independent third party assessment of the work undertaken by private contractors assigned by BBMP.” It then directed the chief engineer of NHAI to personally inspect the work or assign a senior engineer to do the survey and submit a report.

The NHAI representative will survey whether the pothole repair work is as per the contract and also whether the work is satisfactory. It will then give an independent opinion of the pothole-filling work and make suggestions. The report will also indicate whether there is dereliction of duty by the BBMP and failure on part of the contractors.

The court said that NHAI’s survey will not stop the work already in progress and BBMP can continue with it.

The HC on Monday had specifically directed BBMP to file a report on specific questions it has raised regarding the pothole filling work.

Among the questions raised by the court are: why did the BBMP not renew the contract of the agency which was filling potholes with advanced machinery and why it did not start the process of appointing a new agency even after the original contract ended in January 2022.

The BBMP in its report on Wednesday submitted on the various aspects of the pothole filling measures. Among these, the civic agency said it was introducing a mobile app for citizens through which potholes can be identified through GPS coordinates.

The app, developed by a private agency, was tested by BBMP and traffic police officers in May this year, the court was told.


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