In Karnataka, the BJP government could not repair the targeted number of roads in its five-year regime, despite money being available for approved works. However, just before the assembly elections, it was suddenly able to take up pending road repairs and implement work orders on some of the arterial roads in Bangalore, the State capital city. The classic case is the Yelahanka-Doddaballapur road, off BIA Road.
For the past two years, the five-kilometre stretch between Yelahanaka police station and Avalahalli (CRPF) was in a state of utter neglect. Time and again, pleas of the local residents to repair this road had been overlooked by the authorities. But last weekend, asphalting machines rumbled up and overnight, the road was repaired and turned to smooth, black ribbons. A pleasant surprise considering that the election code of conduct came into effect on March 20.
The quality of work has also gone for a toss in a hurry to impress the electorate. The corporation seems to think laying roads is just about rolling bitumen. Laying a road involves much planning and not just covering it with a black top. The hasty asphalt repair clearly reflects the quality of work. Contractors who carry out roadwork should be made answerable for damage within one year of the work. But the corporation has not acted against anyone for poor quality of work, said a social activist.