Better late than never. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is finally planning to keep track of the pothole menace by adopting a smart solution. The BBMP will introduce the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) — an automated machine learning mechanism that will identify roads riddled with potholes — to enhance mobility in the city limits.
“We are adopting this method to bring in accountability. This is a holistic package where the physical process of identifying a pothole and verifying it after it is filled, is replaced through a smart solution,” B S Prahallad, the BBMP’s chief engineer for infrastructure told.
An initial inspection would be conducted by a camera-mounted vehicle. The vehicle would identify potholes and mark the coordinates through GPS. This information will be intimated to the concerned contractors who will then fix the potholes. The software will keep a record of all data thus gathered — the location, the timeline, the status and the quality of the work undertaken. The progress of work will be monitored through a colour coding system. In turn, the officials too would stay up to speed with the help of the application.
“It is a good initiative that will help in maintaining a good database. Right now, we are completely depending upon the judgement of the engineers who do the work manually. This can help in bringing corrective measures at the right time,” said BBMP Commissioner, N Manjunath Prasad. The BBMP is gearing up to implement the project as a pilot in the East zone.
“We will spread the initiative in the entire city, if it works out. We are still calculating the costs,” said chief engineer Prahallad. According to Prahallad, the new system will help reduce the time in fixing roads, and will boost accountability. “A city like Bangalore has constant complaints about pothole-filled roads. Through this mechanism, we will be able to identify in how many days does a pothole appear back on the road after filling it. The contractors have a defect-liability period. This will help in keeping all those things on track,” he said.