The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) may be some years away from its first manned mission to the moon, but in Bengaluru, its civic agency – the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) has already raced ahead, readying a prototype lunar surface. Well, all thanks to crater-sized potholes on Bengaluru’s roads.
The pothole-riddled Tunganagar Main Road in Bengaluru has served as inspiration for city-based street artist Baadal Nanjundaswamy. In his latest creation, Baadal has an actor suited up as an astronaut moonwalking on Tunganagar Main Road’s craters. The video of this ‘moonwalk’ in Bengaluru has gone viral on social media.
Baadal has in the past used his art to highlight Bengaluru’s perennial pothole problem and the apathy of the civic administration and the political class. His previous works include introducing mermaids and crocodiles to Bengaluru’s streets.
This latest installation comes at a time when BBMP claims that it is taking action and filling potholes on a priority basis. This after the High Court pulled up the civic body. In an interim order in August, the High Court stated that BBMP officials would be held responsible for accidents due to potholes. This meant BBMP would be liable to pay compensation to victims or their families. “The scope of Article 21 has been expanded by the Supreme Court. Every citizen has a right to meaningful and dignified life and good roads are absolutely necessary. Ensuring pothole-free roads is a legal and constitutional obligation of the BBMP,” Chief Justice AS Oka observed.
The BBMP had last week announced that Rs 2000 fine will be imposed on engineers for failing to fill the potholes.
According to the latest data as of mid-July, the BBMP claims there are only 2,840 potholes in the city. But in actuality, the number is likely to be higher across the 198 wards. While potholes are majorly an inconvenience that the city has grown accustomed to, it has proved fatal in multiple occasions as well.