Public Interest Litigation (PIL) – White Topping of  Roads

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) – White Topping of Roads

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) – has been filed by a group of citizens who are living in Jayanagar and Basavangudi in High Court against white-topping of roads in the area.

White-topping of roads in Bengaluru :

This Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is against the white-topping of roads in Bengaluru. White-topping has created a havoc by burdening the citizens with escalating traffic and dust problems.

The deadline for white-topping of 94 km roads under 1st phase which is costing Rs.986.64 crore lapsed in July 2018,with only 15% of the work being completed. 

Glitches in the procedure – Public Interest Litigation :

The Bengaluru city is following a flawed method of white-topping roads, as cement is poured wherever there is asphalt.  

During white-topping of roads, only a part of the asphalt layer is being removed and replaced with cement blocks that are thick by 5 inches.  This in turn is making the road level very high.  Ideally they should remove a layer below the asphalt called sub-grade.

The sub-grade needs to be surface-milled so that when concrete is put, one achieves the similar height as before.   Since the cement blocks are thick in size, they are covering the water drains laid out on the sides of the footpath.  Footpaths are at a lower level when compared to the elevated roads.

Problems at Basavangudi due to white topping – Public Interest Litigation filed :

The problems have multiplied recently at Basavangudi due to the white topping.  The residents are unable to take out their vehicles.  The height of the roads has been increased.  Basavangudi is one of the city’s best-planned area.

Motorists, residents complain that after white topping, they are facing more problems than what it was before.  It has become a nightmare to motorists due to the mess created by BBMP.

Due to the increased height of the roads in Basavangudi, it is causing flooding.  Whenever it rains the water along with garbage enters the houses.  After the white topping done, the BBMP has forgotten to remove the construction debris.

Some of the roads at Basavangudi has turned into one-way after white-topping.  This has contributed to a reduction in the business for the traders.

Woes of the residents:

Traffic jam has become a major problem.  Sometimes parking a car is a big problem.  The wheel gets stuck between the road and the footpath.  For two-wheelers, they can easily slip and fall.  No warning signs are placed anywhere to indicate where the white topping road is being laid in some areas.

Public money at stake – Public interest litigation :

Many roads that are being white-topped are those roads that were either recently tarred or were in good condition.  So the concreting of these roads is simply waste of resources.

The selection of the roads that requires white-topping should be taken locally at the ward level.  As people in the ward are more aware of the condition of a particular road and whether or not it requires white-topping.

white topping road

Those roads which are white-topped lack a sufficient utility duct.  This shows the government’s involvement in building good roads.

What is missing from white topped roads are uniform vehicle lanes, wide footpaths and the entire road geometry.

Citizen’s seeking High Court Intervention :

A group of citizens residing in Jayanagar and Basavangudi has moved the High Court intervention against road white-topping project.  They want to stop work between Madhavan Park and Nagasandra Cricle.

According to the residents of the area the roads marked for white topping is in perfect condition without potholes or any damages.  The work has started 3 weeks back in the above mentioned stretch.  The footpaths are full with pipes. 

According to the residents the water and sanitary lines have not been shifted.  The work has been allotted to a Hyderabad company.  The workers have no idea about the utility pipes lying beneath the road.

Cauvery water pipes –  Public Interest Litigation :

T he Cauvery water pipes beneath the road in this area carry water to many parts of the city.  The water supply is to the eastern parts of Bengaluru and also to the places like NIMHANS,  Ejipura, Jayanagar, Double Road and Siddapura.  These pipes are more than 25 years old and shifting them is a major task.

Any damage to the pipe while shifting will affect water supply to lakhs of people .  there is also the lack of co-ordination between the BWSSB and BBMP. 

Disruption to common man :

The Senior citizens are most affected by the white-topping.  The contractors keep raising the level of the road every time the work is taken and this has increased the road height and is a cause to flooding. 

Materials required for white-topping is dumped on the footpaths, forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.  Large pipes are blocking the footpaths.

The road after the topping has become too high.   The residents are unable to take out their vehicles.  The height of the roads has been increased.  Basavangudi is one of the city’s best-planned area.

Motorists, residents complain that after white topping, they are facing more problems than what it was before.  It has become a nightmare to motorists due to the mess created by BBMP.

According to a citizens,”the height of the road will increase and citizens will suffer as water and dirt will enter their homes.  It is unscientifically being done because water and sanitary line should be placed at a distance, here, the workers have no idea”.

Burden to citizens :

The white-topping of roads in Bengaluru has created havoc by overly burdening citizens with increasing traffic and dust problems.   The white topping of 94 km roads which falls under phase 1 costing Rs.986.64 crore lapsed in July 2018.

The  completed work is only 20%.  Despite the phase 1 pending work, the BBMP has floated tenders for an another stretch of 63.25 km under phase 2.  This has increased the enduring of traffic jam to the citizens.

The city is following a flawed method of white topping roads, as concrete is being poured wherever there is asphalt.  While white topping of roads, a part of the asphalt layer is removed and replaced with cement blocks that are 5 inches thick.  This is making the level of the road much higher.

Other areas to be covered under white topping :

Some of the main roads that will be white topped under phase 2 includes the Central Business District, heavily populated Jayanagar Shopping complex and surrounding areas, East end road, Koramangala, Wilson Garden, Gandhi Bazaaar, Madhavan Parrk to Hosur road stretch.

With the ongoing metro construction, the white topping of roads is adding the traffic mess in Bengaluru causing distress and a lot of problem to the citizens.

Loss of Greenery – Public Interest Litigation :

One of the main reasons for the residents to file the Public Interest Litigation is that white-topping will result in the loss of 14 fully grown trees on the marked stretch.

According to the Chairman of BWSSB, shifting of underground sewage lines is a big challenge before them.  The sewage lines are at a depth and are big in diameter. 

The pipes go by the gravity flow so to maintain that flow, the pipes have to be cut deeper at some of the points and that is really a time consuming work.

There should be co-ordination between BBMP and BWSSP while replacing and shifting of underground  pipelines.

White Topping roads – a project taken over by BBMP is posing problems and a nightmare to the citizens in the city.

Status of the Public Interest Litigation case :

The High Court has issued a notice to the civic body of the city BBMP Standing Council for their response to the Public Interest Litigation.

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