Scrappy road works throw Bengaluru city life out of gear
Infrastructure projects across the State got a big jolt after Covid-19 broke out and the government slapped lockdown to contain the virus spread
Bengaluru: Infrastructure projects across the State got a big jolt after Covid-19 broke out and the government slapped lockdown to contain the virus spread. While the reduced revenues to the exchequer put major development works in a bind, mass exodus of labourers and liquidity issues faced by contractors and vendors only made matters worse. White topping is one major work among them which commuters are in problems. In Bengaluru, works on white topping of major roads, especially the Outer Ring Road, have been affected.
White-topping is a process where the normal black-top roads or the bitumen asphalted roads are cleared, and the roads are given a layer of concrete on top. The concrete used is considered more long-lasting and is believed to prevent the formation of potholes. According to the reports, city corporation is spending Rs 11 crore for converting one kilometre road into white topping.
Many projects across Bengaluru city like Mahalakshmi Layout Metro Station on West Card Road, opposite the ISKCON Temple, the Rajkumar Samadhi Road (Outer Ring Road), the Forum Mall Koramangala, Sumanahalli on the road from Nayandahalli to Goraguntepalya on the Rajkumar Samadhi road are incomplete with only one side of lane is completed white topping.
"Projects have been delayed by three months and the contractor has been given a three-month extension. Some roads that were scheduled to be completed by December will not be done as contractors have said works will start only after Deepavali when labourers return," says BBMP senior official.
"We agree that first the lockdown and then heavy rains delayed work for major projects. But the city will attract tourists and investors only if hygiene and greenery are maintained. Now it is losing it green city name, most of the roads which white topping is in process are a big challenge for the commuters. So, it's better for the government to resume its work immediately to complete all remaining work," says Bharath, a regular commuter at Outer Ring Road.
The projects were initiated by the Siddaramaiah government and continued during the previous Congress-JD(S) government as well. The BBMP had taken up white-topping work under the Chief Minister Nagarothana scheme. The white-topping project received Rs 800 crore in 2016-17 for the development of 29 roads (93.47km), Rs 690 crore was sanctioned in 2017-18 for development of 41 roads (63.26 km) and Rs 1,139 crore in 2018-19 for development of 89 roads (123 km).