A division bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka observed that tax-paying citizens run the risk of getting injured on roads.To avoid going to the court over the issue, an aggrieved party can directly approach the civic body for suitable compensation.
The order is somewhat similar to the one passed by a bench of the Bombay High Court a couple of years ago to which Justice Oka was a party. “The scope of Article 21 has been expanded by the Supreme Court. A citizen has every right to meaningful & dignified life. Good roads are a necessity,” the bench said. Ensuring pothole-free roads is a legal as well as constitutional obligation of the BBMP, it added.
Grievance redressal mechanism
The bench directed the BBMP to set up a grievance redressal mechanism such as mobile app to help the public. Also, the Palike has to inform the complainant about the action taken on every complaint.
Ward panels, traffic cops roped in
The bench asked ward committees & traffic police to monitor the condition of roads. The committees have to regularly inspect streets within their jurisdiction & report about inadequacies in their maintenance & repair. They can alert about potholes & violations by utilities like BWSSB, KPTCL etc. who dug up roads to lay cables & pipes. They must submit reports within five days by the end of every month to the BBMP commissioner, who in turn, will submit the gist of such reports to the court.
The civic body must ensure that utility companies who dug up roads/footpaths for undertaking various works provide signages to help the visually challenged as per the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.The bench has posted the PIL filed by Vijayan Menon to September 9 to consider the status report to be submitted by the BBMP.