Bengaluru: After four persons were killed recently on Bengaluru's damaged roads, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today said the deaths were "not due to potholes".
Mr Siddaramaiah had earlier this week asked for over 15,000 potholes to be fixed within 15 days, telegraphing the urgency to tackle a deadly problem that has provoked public anger and opposition attacks.
Today, however, when reporters confronted him about deaths because of potholes, he cut in: "...not due to potholes but because of accidents."
A woman died on Tuesday when she was flung from a scooter and crushed by a lorry near Devanahalli, around 40 km from the Karnataka capital. G Veena, 21, was riding pillion behind her older sister, who swerved to avoid a pothole on their way home. As the two-wheeler slowed, a truck hit them from behind and G Veena was killed instantly.
On Sunday, 47-year-old Radha Ajanappa was thrown off a scooter when her nephew, who was driving, tried to avoid a pothole on the Mysuru road. The front wheels of a truck ran her over immediately.
Earlier, a couple on a two-wheeler was killed when a Tamil Nadu road transport bus hit them.
Mr Joseph was trying to negotiate a pothole on a flyover when the bus hit their scooter.
Ahead of polls in Karnataka next year, the ruling Congress has been attacked by the opposition. The BJP alleges a scam behind substandard work on roads.
Former Chief Minister BS Yedyurappa said: "So far, they have spent about Rs 4,000 crore and they have taken about 100, 000 crore loans. I do not know where the money has gone. The pathetic state of Bengaluru roads is a reflection of the performance of Siddaramaiah and his government."