Humongous number of potholes taken from ‘closed’ ‘FixMyStreet’ app; officials fear number of Bengaluru potholes will skyrocket further if app is available to citizens
Apart from facing a ‘pothole test’, new BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath has also drawn Bengalureans’ ire with his ‘over-eager’ tweets in response to VIP complaints
Has Bengaluru developed a case of ‘pothole-itis’ in the last fortnight? Soon after the exit of 1990 batch IAS officer Gaurav Gupta from BBMP, the number of potholes scarring the city has risen exponentially to a whopping 10,861. Clearly, new BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath has his task cut out!
When Gupta was the civic chief, BBMP had not reported such a huge number of potholes. But soon after his transfer on May 5, they seem to have multiplied like rabbits!
Prior to Gupta taking over as BBMP chief, the civic agency was counting (or said to be counting) the number of potholes in city. But he was not convinced about the efficacy of such a method and directed his engineers instead to count the number of pothole-ridden roads in terms of kilometres (a road was listed even if it had a single pothole).
Interestingly, on the very heels of 1993 batch IAS officer Tushar Giri Nath taking over as BBMP Chief Commissioner on May 6, the city has turned into one large receptacle of potholes. Blame it on ‘FixMyStreet’, the much-hyped app which, officials claimed, residents could download on their mobile phones following which they could upload pictures of potholes to draw the attention of BBMP engineers. Not surprisingly, though, the app is yet to be made public in the app/play store and is accessible only to some officials.
Sources said the ‘FixMyStreet’ app was created in 2017 but was lying idle since then. It was reportedly revived and modified by a lady IAS officer – needless to say at the taxpayers’ cost. However, BBMP officials still do not have access to the app’s source code.
VVIP East zone has most potholes
Even as the ‘FixMyStreet’ app is yet to be made publicly available, TheBengaluruLive has obtained exclusive data on the city’s potholes. From May 1 till May 21, Bengaluru has reported 10,861 potholes, out of which the East zone — which sees dense VVIP movement — has the highest count of 2,169 potholes.
The 10,861 potholes are the count arrived at by BBMPs engineers — and the civic agency fears that even this huge number will balloon out of control should the app be made publicly available.
As per the data, the 8 zones and their potholes are: Bommanahalli (1287), Dasarahalli (910), East (2169), Mahadevapura (808), RR Nagar (1280), South (1364), West (1163) and Yelahanka (758).
A VVIP Commissioner!
Turning the focus from potholes to the new BBMP chief, there were a lot of expectations from Tushar Giri Nath but early days suggest that he responds only to VIP complaints from his official social media handle.
On Saturday, he faced the ire of netizens for his ‘over-eager’ tweet in response to a reported complaint by former Karnataka Chief Secretary A Ravindra about a road’s condition. The same quick response went to former Indian cricketer and Karnataka spin legend Sunil Joshi, who expressed his anger over the city’s bad roads. Tagging the BBMP Chief Commissioner, Joshi tweeted: “Good morning sir, it’s humble submission & request to you & to the team that the roads in blore city require a real makeover as citizens feel inconvenience on the roads as there are too many potholes & road repairs works on or stopped. @BBMPCOMM.”
Giri Nath promptly tweeted back: “Thanks for your concern. We have formed a Task Force to immediately attend all the potholes, repairing and widening of the roads and same shall be addressed on war footing.”