4 people have died in road accidents in 10 days due to potholes, Bangalore must wake up

DailyBiteOct 11, 2017 | 19:26

4 people have died in road accidents in 10 days due to potholes, Bangalore must wake up

Bangalore is notorious for its traffic jams. [Photo courtesy: PTI]

On October 10, a 20-year-old woman died after she fell off a scooter. Her sister, who was riding the scooter, had been trying to avoid a pothole when the accident took place. This is the fourth death in the past 10 days due to a pothole-caused accident in the city.

On October 11, the BJP staged a protest in front of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) office against the poor condition of roads and garbage problems in the city.


It has been raining woes on Bangalore for months now, and potholes are attendant casualty. According to the city's municipal corporation, there are 15,935 potholes on its roads. Citizen activists have claimed the number could be more. While the CM has asked for the potholes to be repaired in 15 days and the civic body has stated it can meet the target, not many believe the claim.

While its traffic jams and poor roads have become notorious, the city's problems are many and manifold. The road density in Bangalore is among the highest in the country. The narrow roads of the city are partially due to its terrain, which makes it impossible to have stretches as wide as a city in the plains, say like Delhi. But much of it, residents and traffic experts repeatedly point out, is just poor planning.


No administrator of Bangalore had ever anticipated and planned for the IT boom and the population explosion that the city was going to see in the 1990s.

According to the data by the Karnataka's directorate of census operations, the population density in Bangalore has risen 47 per cent in the past decade.

The city has sprawled in every direction, with homes and offices often strewn around far from each other. Poor roads and poor planning mean public buses are not the first choice of transport for the public. The Bangalore Metro, delayed by three years, has more kilometres to cover before it can service the city fully.

This means Bangalore residents are pretty much left to their own devices - and vehicles - for commuting. According to a report in The Economic Times, the number of vehicles in Bangalore rose by 6,099 per cent in 40 years.

The Bellandur lake in Bangalore has caught fire multiple times. Photo: India Today
The Bellandur lake in Bangalore has caught fire multiple times. Photo: India Today

All of this has put an unprecedented stress on the city's infrastructure, and more damagingly, its climate. According to a study by IISC scientist Dr TV Ramachandra and his colleague Dr Bharath H Aithal, the city will be unlivable by 2020.


Bangalore's problems are not a few potholes and too many vehicles, but decades of an administration failing to keep pace with the city's growth. The solution it needs is not just repairing roads, but a complete overhaul in how it has been run so far. One way to do that is to turn to the city's own past, which holds valuable lessons in town planning.

The city's airport - Kempegowda International Airport - pays tribute to its founder, Nadaprabhu Hiriya Kempe Gowda, or Kempe Gowda I.

Kempe Gowda I was also a great town planner, and recognised that the great city he wanted to build didn't not have a river. Thus, began the construction of tanks, lakes and canals - kaluves - to connect them. Till the 1980s, the city's lakes and trees were enough to keep it irrigated, cool and happy.

Bangalore was traditionally known for its positive attributes - "garden city", a "naturally air-conditioned city", India's Silicon Valley. Today, its traffic jams are legendary, its dying lakes have burst into flames and thrown up dead fish, and its climate is heating up every day.

Unless imaginative solutions are found quickly for the city, the IISC's gloomy prediction might very well come true.

Last updated: May 13, 2018 | 18:15
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