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By Garima PrasherThe Smart City work on selected roads in and around the central business district (CBD) of Bengaluru has ensured motorists and pedestrians can avail advanced and modern facilities that are ‘smart’.From smart signals to digital information boards and light-controlled crossings to smart dustbins and parking systems, Bengaluru Smart City Limited (BSCL) is leaving no stone unturned.However, in this flurry of activities to achieve spic and span stretches, service and maintenance aspects have been ignored. Residents in and around these roads are now in the lurch over whom to contact for the upkeep.For instance, for over a month now, commuters using Queen’s Road during night-time or early morning hours have had no other option but to navigate through flickering lights or total darkness, frequently.“The streetlights put up by BSCL on Queen’s Road have not been working properly for over a month now. There are times when the lights stop working altogether. However, we do not know how to get these lights fixed. We reached out to the BBMP helpline number, but our request was declined as this is a stretch maintained by BSCL,” said Thanmaya BP, a resident of the area.According to residents, while Smart City engineers fixed the streetlights recently, issues keep cropping up at regular intervals.“They fixed some of the lights in the last few days and it seems to be working fine for now. However, there have been days when the complete stretch, from Congress office to Balekundri Circle, goes dark for hours,” said Suresh R, another resident.Palace Road is yet another stretch facing a similar issue. Residents said while they have been directed to reach out to the BSCL officials for any maintenance-related affairs, it is not a viable and long-term solution.


“Streetlights on the stretch have not been working properly since they were installed over a month ago. Sometimes, not even a single light is on. When the stretch was under BBMP, every ward had its contractor’s contact details made available in the public domain. BBMP’s helpline number was also working smoothly. However, now when we call them, they refuse to register complaints saying it’s not under their service area. Every time there is a street light issue, we cannot call up the chief engineer of the Smart City. BSCL is working on plenty of roads in the CBD area. It’s high time they come up with a dedicated helpline for maintenance issues,” said another resident.Residents also complained about unkept medians and neglected gardens put up by BSCL for beautification. “Plants on the medians are dying in absence of water. Moreover, the BSCL contractors have carried out plantations without properly cleaning concrete left over in the medians. The saplings have been planted over debris and are not being watered now. While costly pedestrian space is being misused, we have no means to raise a complaint,” said Susan P, another resident. Netizens said BSCL should hand over the maintenance work to BBMP, as the Palike already has a system in place, which has been working well.“BSCL came into the picture to repair the roads and revamp other infrastructure. However, once the work is completed, they should hand it over to BBMP for upkeep. We would not want to have another layer of agency to reach out to for maintenance-related issues,” said Thanmaya.According to Vinayak Sugur, chief engineer of BSCL, soon, there will be a dedicated officer at BSCL to take up complaints and get the issues sorted at the earliest.“Currently, we do not have any helpline system in place. However, we plan to have a dedicated officer to take care of such complaints from citizens to ensure they are taken care of,” said Sugur. GALLERIES View more photosMost Popular
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