Five deaths in five days but politicians refuse to acknowledge the serious problem killer potholes are posing in Bengaluru. While Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asked mocked questions over pothole deaths seeking 'suggestions', Bengaluru development minister K J George deemed questions on pothole deaths 'anti-Bengaluru'.
"You tell me what to do. Do you have suggestions?" is how Chief Minister Siddaramaiah chose to respond to a question raised by a journalist on potholes in the city on Wednesday.
This is not the first time that Siddaramaiah has reacted this way over a civic issue.
"There are two ways to fix potholes- cold mix and hot mix. We can only use cold mix during the rainy season but it is not longlasting irrespective of the quality. Hot mix is a better alternative but can't be used during rains. We are repairing the potholes on an urgent basis," he said when journalists pointed out that quality tender work, for starters, may be an effective way to ensure good roads for Bengalureans.
Earlier in the day, Bengaluru development minister K J George said that deliberate attempts were being made to tarnish the image of Bengaluru by highlighting pothole deaths. "All accidents are simply being portrayed as pothole accidents. Some people are trying to paint a bad picture of Bengaluru. False news is being spread about people dying due to potholes," George said adding that not all accidents were due to potholes.
Th minister even showed journalists photos of road repairs being taken up by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday set a 15-day deadline to fix all potholes in the city. When asked if the deadline will be met, K J George accused journalists of making anti-Bengaluru statements. "Can I hold up an umbrella to stop rains? Potholes can only be fixed once it stops pouring continuously. Why are you (media) making anti-Bengaluru statements?" he asked journalists.
Saddened to hear that 3 people lost their lives in Bengaluru because of potholes on road. While @CMofKarnataka busy in corruption, innocent people paying with their lives for @siddaramaiah incompetency.— B.S. Yeddyurappa (@BSYBJP) October 11, 2017
The BJP meanwhile, is all set to use the pothole problem to its advantage. On Wednesday, the BJP staged a massive protest outside the BBMP office. On Thursday, BJP state President B S Yeddyurappa will visit rain-affected areas in the city with corporators to launch an attack on the Congress government over civic apathy.