Whitefield residents get BBMP to initiate road repair

Many phone calls, meetings and determination push repair of a stretch of Whitefield - Hoskote Road. Now to get the remaining portions done - when will the PWD get going?

On a sunny Sunday, members of the Bruhat Whitefield Residential Community Association stepped out on to the busy State Highway (SH) 35. Instead of watching a movie and spending time with their family, here they were, rolling their sleeves up and monitoring a road work.

Road work? Yes. Anyone who travels on the SH 35, that goes from Kadugodi to Hosakote would know the status of the road. The heavy rains during the last week of September unleashed havoc on this already spoilt road.

Volunteers of BWRCA monitoring the road work. Pic: Anantharaman Ramasamy

SH 35 is one of the busiest and densely trafficked roads of the city connecting peripheral areas like Hoskote to ITPL, Whitefield and Attibele. Though this road is known as State Highway, its maintenance doesn’t come under the jurisdiction of Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project (KSHIP). Instead the road is shared between two departments – BBMP Major Roads and Infrastructure Development and Public Work Department.

The 5-km stretch of the State Highway-35 from Seegehalli to Kattamanallur Gate falls under Public Work Department, while 3-km stretch of the road from Hope Farm Circle to Belathur part of the Kadugodi Ward is under Major Roads and Infrastructure Development Department, BBMP.

The community of residents nearby, who always bear the brunt of this bad road, under the banner of Bruhat Whitefield Residential Community Association (BWRCA) decided to take up the issue and get the road repaired.

So what does it take to set the ball rolling?

The fight to set these things right had actually started a few months ago. Manjunath Athrey of Samarpan and a group of people who met the Joint Commissioner of Mahadevpura, Devaraja requested him to fill up the potholes. “It gave a momentary relief, but after one heavy rain, the potholes were back. On realising that filling up of potholes doesn’t help much, we requested them to level the road again and the follow up began.”

Seetharam V S, Personal Assistant of R K Misra, founder of Navbharat political party, says, “First you need to find who is responsible for the work and then you connect the loops. In some cases it might work within a few days; sometimes it might take years, you need to push them till you get the results.”

Budget approval for other works
“Fixing of footpaths, cleaning canals and removing encroachment along the road is a long-term planning which was promised to be included in the budget, which was eventually included and approved in this year’s budget,” says Ramasamy. These works are expected to start only from January 2014, as it still needs necessary approval from the councillors and tenders are yet to be passed.

What did it take to set BBMP in action?

Determination along with endless number of phone calls and networking helped them to set the BBMP in action, says Anantharaman Ramasamy, a resident of Chaitanya Samarpan and an active a member of the BWRCA. “For any community meetings to get people outside their homes, I need to make 250 calls. Most of the time I spent in meeting and talking to people, trying to get some work done.”

BWRCA drafted a memorandum asking BBMP and PWD to fix the bad condition of roads. It also highlighted the absence of footpaths and encroachment around the area. Signatures of 250 residents living along the stretch were taken. Appointments were fixed with the Secretary of PWD, Chikkarayappa, at Vikas Soudha and BBMP Chief Engineer of Major Roads and Infrastructure Development Somashekhar. The memorandum was submitted to the Secretary to Government,  Public Works Department and Chief Engineer of Major Roads and Infrastructure Development, BBMP on Sep 21, 2013.

“We requested them to fix the road soon;  the status from PWD was expected in 2 weeks from the date of Submission; BBMP Major Roads assured to include this in the budget.”

Somashekar mentioned that the necessary budget is allocated and will be presented for the council approval and will take upto January to get the work started. For the immediate relief, the Area Engineer responsible should take care, he added. Then the residents contacted AEE Dyanand and Area Engg Channakeshava, who also revealed the fund crunch within BBMP, says Ramasamy. However, assurance was given on starting the work within four days.

The road marked in red is being repaired. The blue part is to be repaired by PWD.

Finally BBMP starts working

Ramasamy requested a meeting with Channakeshava, inorder to tell him what is required to be done in the area. The meeting never took place, but one fine morning, on October 6, labourers were found repairing the road.

Seetharam immediately brought this to the notice of other members and R K Misra. R K Misra requested volunteers to monitor the work carried out on the road.

Manjunath Athrey of Samarpan was the first one to be there to monitor the work, along with Seetharam. Anantharaman, Jeydev, Sampath Ramanujam, Venureddy and members from Keerthi Residency were also there to monitor the progress.

The work started due to sheer pressure of the residents, stated the contractor, whose past payments are still due with the BBMP. He took assurance from the members of BWRCA, to make sure follow-up with the officials will be done so that he can get his payment.

PWD yet to start repairs

The fate of five-km road that falls under PWD is still hanging in balance. Because the properties along the road fall under BDA’s purview. BDA sanctions plan sanctions for these sites and takes betterment charges from them. “They are responsible for footpaths and drains along this road but fail to carry out work on account of ‘no funds’,” says Ramasamy. However, anything related to road – be it a construction work or repair work, it falls under PWD.

However, PWD is not responsible for the construction of storm water drains beside the road. this comes under BDA, therefore PWD after construction of road leaves the edges of the road as it is.

The residents followed up with Ramesh, Executive Engineer of Bangalore division, who promised to get back after 15 minutes. Promptly after 15 minutes, they got a call from Anand, Assistant Engineer of PWD, responsible for Whitefield area. He assured them that further meetings will be organised with his superiors.

Couple of months back, a meeting held at the Panchayat office along with the Assistant engineer of PWD, President of Panchayat and Development officer highlighted two problems that delay the work: Encroachments along the road and the lack of money. “However we believe that the PWD will get into action soon. There is a lot to do. But we have taken the first good step,” says Ramasamy.

‘When Govt fails to deliver, people should take charge’

R K Misra, an urban reforms campaigner and one of the influential leaders in the city, is the biggest support for BWRCA. “I just supported them and got them the necessary appointments. It was the efforts of the community that came together to take this work in hand,” says a modest Misra.

“When government fails to deliver its responsibility, people need to engage themselves with the government. Unfortunately people have to come out of their work place and get things done.”

Being critical of the city’s governance, he says, “Nobody pays attention to the requirement of the work and its cost.” Budget releases only 25% of the actual cost of the work.” He believes that the bureaucrats, politicians, councillors – all fail to think rationally, while engineers who have the expertise are overloaded with work and have no powers.

Related Articles

Failure to provide amenities: Apartment residents stage protest against builder
Whitefield residents spread the joy of giving by planting saplings
Bannerghatta Road residents team up to try save lake
Residents partner with BBMP to save a lake
Residents “care for Jayanagar”, organise Waste Management workshop
Residents campaign against unauthorised garbage dumps


  1. Santosh B R says:

    Good to see people are waking up to resolve their everyday problems. More such active participation is needed to bring about change.

  2. Shashidhar K. G. says:

    Lessons for all involved in civic work especially the follow up with concerned after knowing whom to approach.It is not a good sign that it needs ~ 250 calls by a dedicated person to get apathetic citizens moving!.
    Anyway, good work done by the RWA.Such coverage by citizen matters helps to publicise good work and share info. Could it become a regular feature?

  3. Srinivas N. says:

    Great work done by BWRCA. One of the reasons for the deterioration of this road is the heavy truck traffic that goes through this stretch. I have seen a few occasions when these trucks got stuck in the pot holes created stopping the whole traffic. I thought these heavy truck traffic is not supposed to go through this road at least during the day time hours. What can be done to stop this flow of heavy truck traffic through this way?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

City Buzz: Demand for NEET probe | Heatwaves continue to kill… and more

In other news: MoHUA bats for rainwater harvesting, 100 million-plus cities by 2050, and 21 lakh air pollution deaths, says a new report.

Demand for NEET probe Even as multiple cases of malpractices from Godhra, Patna and other parts of the nation mire the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG) 2024 exam for medical and allied courses, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on June 20th said that isolated incidents of malpractices should not affect lakhs of students who had rightfully cleared the examination. The government is expected to set up a high-level panel to look into the functioning of the National Testing Agency (NTA). The Supreme Court had sought responses from the Centre, the NTA and others on petitions seeking cancellation of the…

Similar Story

Walking in their shoes: How cities can include senior citizens in planning

IIT-Bombay and design firm Dig-Design have come together to create an 'age empathy suit' meant to simulate conditions of ageing.

“My grandfather is 88 years old. Like other senior citizens, he used to go for long walks, but now he can’t. Often, he doesn’t tell us how he feels because he doesn’t want to bother us. Going through this experience of wearing the empathy suit, which simulates challenges faced by older people, is very helpful. It's not that we don’t know about the issues, but experiencing them first hand provides a better understanding,” says Amod. He is referring to a wearable empathy suit being developed at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay that communicates the experiences of older citizens…