03 September 2019
Bengaluru: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) promptly responded to a novel complaint of street artist Baadal Nanjundaswamy by fixing the potholes on which he had 'moonwalked' dressed as an astronaut on Sunday to expose the pathetic condition of roads in India's tech hub, an official said on Tuesday.
"Under the supervision of our chief engineer S. Prabhakar of RR Nagar, the potholes on Tunganagar main road in the northwest suburb have been filled up with mud, bitumen and asphalted by late afternoon, responding at the earliest to the artist's complaint through social media (Twitter) on Monday by uploading a video clip of him walking on them (potholes) dressed as an astronaut," BBMP spokesman L.B. Suresh told IANS here.
Elated by the civic agency's proactive action, the 40-year-old artist-cum-activist thanked people for flagging the complaint by sharing and retweeting the minute-long video clip on Twitter.
"Thank you people for such an overwhelming response and support. Work in progress. Quick and prompt response from @BBMP. Thank you very much @BBMPCOMM @BBMP-MAYOR and Mr Prabhakar, CE, RR Nagar who is overlooking on ground currently," said Nanjundanswamy on his Facebook account with a video clip of an earth-moving machine filling the moon crater-sizde pot holes with mud and levelling them for asphalting.
Though the civic agency came to know about the artist's video clip going viral with the twitterati trending it throughout Monday, Suresh said the officials could not act on the complaint earlier as the staff concerned were on holiday for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
"The concerned engineer (Prabhakar) was alerted about the complaint doing rounds on social media with a video clip of the artist treading cautiously on the potholes in the locality. As Monday was a public holiday for the Ganesh festival, the employees concerned were not available. Hence, we decided to fix the potholes on Tuesday," added Suresh.
Nanjundaswamy has used his creative artwork in the past too, to red flag the callousness of the civic administration in maintaining roads and other amenities, by displaying dummy mermaids and crocodiles around potholes to draw the BBMP's attention to the city's infrastructure woes.
The video clip became an instant hit in the virtual world, coincidentally, on the day (Monday) when Chandrayaan-2 mission's lander Vikram with rover Pragyan separated from its Orbiter about 100 kms above the lunar surface for its soft-landing near the moon's south pole early morning on September 7.
The ambitious outer space mission is being monitored and manoeuvred from the telemetry, tracking and command network (Istrac) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in the city's northern suburbs.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to witness the historic event from the space agency's mission control room in Istrac in the wee hours of September 7.