Monday, October 16, 2017

Bangalore Rains – Water and Potholes Everywhere

Almost every day, especially in the evening, heavy rains are hitting the city. This is supposed to be a moment of happiness after longs years to draughts and dwindling water table. Before rains, huge number of bore wells were running dry. People dug to such an extent that, even magma may start coming out. However, what is supposed to be happy moment turned out to become a disastrous one when low quality roads coupled with bad design crumpled under the pressure of downpour.

Pot holes suddenly became much bigger. In many pleases there were hardly any roads. Thanks to bad design, water clogged at the beginning of flyovers, in underpasses etc. Basements of buildings which are constructed below ground level were flooded with water. Many service roads and other connecting roads lost most of their blacktop and became storm water drainages. Needless to say, this created a nightmare for drivers especially bikers. Even major arteries lost lot of black top and many parts of it became non-navigable.

Major reason for this havoc is not rains, its bad quality of road construction and design of public infrastructure. As rains became a rare phenomenon in previous years, quality of roads went down significantly. To an extent this was compensated by frequent maintenance. Roads doesn’t last long but frequent maintenance kept things under carpet. Commuters were angrier about blocks than quality of road.

This time rain exposed the real strength of public infrastructure in Bangalore. We don’t need any cyclone but a fortnight’s heavy rain is enough to bring this city to a halt.

Problems are not limited to roads and flyovers. Lakes are filled with industrial water and it vomits white forms and foul smell. Water in lakes like Agara, Vurthur etc are untouchable for all practical purposes. It was courts which pulled up the administration to do something with lakes. Now due to rain focus moved towards roads and people are going to forget lakes for a while. I am sure, a massive infrastructure revamp will happen after rains. Lots of roads will be widened, re-tarred etc. I am also sure that, hardly anyone is going to check the quality of those work products. Hardly anyone is going to care about its design. BWSSB and private parties are going to dig up the road wherever they need going to leave a mess behind.


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