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Roads get a facelift ahead of PM visit; CM says pothole filling part of ongoing works

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on Friday, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) gave a major facelift to roads in and around Majestic area in the city. 

Fresh asphalt has been done in Gubbi Thotadappa Road connecting Shantala Circle and Sangolli Rayanna Circle and potholes were also filled. BBMP officials claimed that the pothole filling is part of the ongoing work and not for the Prime Minister’s visit to the city.

Mr. Modi will be in the city to inaugurate the Vande Bharat Express and Terminal 2 of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA). He will be visiting city railway station in Majestic to inaugurate South India’s first Vande Bharat Express train. 

Tushar Girinath, BBMP’s Chief Commissioner, said apart from filling potholes, the BBMP is also pruning branches on the route where the Prime Minister is travelling.

Till Tuesday, the BBMP claimed that it had filled 29,517 out of 32,011 potholes identified in the city. BBMP said it has filled 92.21% of potholes in the city. 

The recent spell of rain has further deteriorated the condition of the city roads with several thousands of new potholes and bad stretches appearing. Several motorists and residents have been complaining and social media is abuzz with photographs and rants against potholes. Around six people were killed owing to potholes in Bengaluru over the last year.

The opposition Congress alleged that the government is filling the potholes only because of the Prime Minister’s visit. Reacting to the allegations, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, “Pothole filling is a routine work and the work will be completed in another four days.”

AAP protest

On the other hand, the Aam Aadmi Party launched an agitation demanding that Mr. Modi should come once a month if the roads in Bengaluru have to be good at all times. AAP activists held placards against the government on Thursday morning on the road opposite to Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna railway station and near Dattatreya temple road in Malleswaram in the afternoon a day before the Prime Minister’s visit. AAP leaders and activists protesting near the railway station were detained by the police.

Speaking to the media, AAP’s Bengaluru president Mohan Dasari said, “The government in the State has least concern for the common man. Though many motorists have fallen because of potholes and broken their limbs, the government did not bother. Now the potholes are repaired and closed in a hurry because Mr. Modi is coming. Only the roads that are planned for the Prime Minister’s travel are being repaired and the rest of the roads are neglected. It is evident that Mr. Bommai’s sole intention is to please Mr. Modi and become the CM candidate in the next elections.”

“The potholes that are closed will crack open within a few days of the PM’s return to Delhi. It is doubtful that the works done in them will last for a month as this is being done hurriedly without maintaining the quality. We have noticed this even when Mr. Modi visited the State before. Therefore, he should come to Bengaluru once a month and travel on all the roads here. Otherwise, the CM, Ministers and MLAs here will be in a state of slumber,” Mr. Dasari added.

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