Whitefield residents fume as OFC firms dig up roads in Bengaluru | Bengaluru News

by karwar

BENGALURU: Residents of Whitefield are concerned over their roads being repeatedly dug up by OFC agencies. Although such digging is done on roads across the city, it’s more rampant in Whitefield as it has an IT corridor, they allege.
Murali G, ward committee member of Hagadur, said: “The authorities lack planning. They come, dig up the roads and asphalt them. Residents and commuters are then happy. But within a few days, the same roads are dug up again.”
BBMP is also losing several crores of revenue as OFC ducts are not being used. Instead of using the already existing conduits, the roads are illegally dug up at night, allegedly in the absence of BBMP officials. While the Palike’s road infrastructure division slaps a penalty on the erring OFC company for illegal digging, the civic agency’s OFC cell never recovers the money.
Last week, Old Airport Main Road was dug up on several stretches. Residents claim there have been times where the digging ends up breaking Cauvery water lines, disrupting supply.
Clement C Jayakumar, a resident of Mahadevapura, said: “Illegal digging by OFC agencies is a major nuisance in our zone. It usually happens on Saturday night, Sunday or during a holiday. The pits remain open and cause accidents. The debris and dug-up pits remain that way until BBMP takes up a pothole-fixing drive. In addition to this, while digging they end up damaging Bescom cables or BWSSB pipes. Residents face four to six hour power outages because of this.”
RK Misra, an urban mobility expert, said: “They illegally dig up major roads on Saturday nights and fill them up with mud. If residents question, they show an old or fake permission letter. When government agencies like Bescom and BWSSB are going through MARCCS (multiagency road-cutting coordination system) to take up road-digging work, why is there an exception for OFCs?”
According to Misra, agencies of OFC companies are supposed to use BBMP’s ducts and pay rent. While the Palike that has spent crores of rupees to create these ducts is not receiving any form of revenue, it also has to fix the roads dug up illegally.

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