Even without in-house assets, potholes can be tackled swiftly. What we need for this is a forward-contracting system. For a few months before the BBMP Council was formed, we had this. The KA Land Army was given a city-wide contract to fill all potholes, and Rs.5 crore was given to them up-front. As and when they did any filling work, they would get it certified by the local ward engineer and the local traffic sub-inspector, and the amount would be debited from the kitty. Whenever the money ran down, it was topped up.
Without in-house assets or such a forward contract, we have to wait for lots of potholes to form first, and then call for bids from contractors to deal with them. All of that causes delay.
Why was this system ended? Simple. BBMP corporators argued that pothole filling is ‘trivial work’ that can be performed by ‘anyone’, and that there is no need for a large city-wide contract to do this job. Instead, they said, the job should be given to local contractors overseen by the corporators. Translation – the job needs to be given to someone ‘known’ to them.
Hale kallu, hosa billu. Idhe namma BBMP 🙂