The state of roads across the country may be improving, but there still remains a lot of work to be done as large parts of even major cities still have pothole ridden roads. This is pothole infestation becomes the cause of a lot of accidents across the nation on a daily basis. Now the Karnataka high court has come to the rescue of the citizens of Bengaluru as a division bench of the court has directed the city’s municipal corporation to compensate the people who have faced injury due to the bad state of roads in the city. The court stated that the taxpayers of the city are at a constant risk of facing injury from the roads of the city and in order to avoid litigation over the same, the court has now directed that the aggrieved parties can directly approach the municipal corporation for their compensation.
While the national capital Delhi has its own fair share of pothole infested roads, the situation is dire in other cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru. The case of Mumbai is especially bad as the rains in the city often aggravates the pothole problem by creating more potholes and hiding the existing ones due to waterlogging post rain.
Coming back to Bengaluru, the high court has passed the order under the interpretation of Article 21 and the bench has stated "The scope of Article 21 has been expanded by the Supreme Court. A citizen has every right to meaningful and dignified life. Good roads are a necessity”. Apart from issuing the order, the bench of Karnataka High Court also directed the civic body of Bengaluru to come up with a grievance redressal mechanism for the pothole related accidents. The mechanism will help the citizens of the city to log their complaints and know the status of the action being taken on their complaint.
This is not all, the court order also directs the ward authorities and traffic police of the city to regularly inspect the state of roads in their jurisdiction area and report the state of the roads to the civic body. The ward authorities and traffic police have also been tasked with informing the civic body about the road disruptions caused by the work carried out by utility services in the city. They have been tasked with submitting report within 5 days at end of every month to the civic body commissioner of Bengaluru and the commissioner in turn will keep the court informed of the developments.