Bengaluru: The Karnataka government on Friday July 22 suspended two engineers attached to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in connection with substandard road work done during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bengaluru on Wednesday June 20.
Bengaluru Civic bodies, BBMP and Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) had come under scanner after substandard work of roads was discussed at the national level embarrassing BJP top brass. The PMO had also sought clarification from Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s office regarding the issue.
BBMP had issued notices to engineers and the matter was investigated. The substandard work was proved in the probe. Assistant Executive Engineer A. Ravi and Assistant Engineer I.K. Vishwas were suspended following investigation.
The asphalting work taken up for Mariyappanapalya Main Road in Bengaluru University Campus was substandard and the layer of the road could be removed just by hand.
Party insiders confirmed that PM Modi was upset with the news. He was also concerned about the development as the party has been trying to create a clean image in view of the upcoming Assembly polls.
Considering the seriousness of the issue, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had instructed BBMP Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the caving in of the road that was laid just ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the city.
The road near the Dr. BR Ambedkar School of Economics (BASE) was laid just a couple of days before Modi’s visit to inaugurate the BASE campus.
The Karnataka High Court had criticised the Bengaluru civic agencies saying that the condition of roads will improve if only the PM and President visit Bengaluru often. The court also questioned if the PM should have to travel on different roads each time for agencies to do their duty.
BBMP drew flak for spending Rs 23 crore for the facelift of 14 km roads in the state capital ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit.
The asphalted roads developed cracks at many locations and in some parts the roads even caving in, exposing the public to danger.
The authorities had developed Kengeri to Kommaghatta (7 km), Mysuru Road (0.15 km), a stretch after Hebbal flyover (2.4 km), Tumakuru Road (0.90 km) and roads in Bengaluru University campus (3.6 km). BBMP also repaired maidans, fixed street lights, painted roads and kerbs ahead of PM Modi’s visit. The work was done on war-footing amid rains.
Sources said that the contractors had allegedly thrown all guidelines to the air while construction of roads ahead of the PM’s visit.
It is alleged that instead of emulsion, kerosene was used, which brings down the costs greatly, and bitumen, which has to be laid at the 110 to 140 degree temperature, was laid at below 90 degree temperature. The responsible engineer, who should have ensured the quality, turned a blind eye, sources said.