This is a must-read for those of you who travel widely on Bengaluru roads, find potholes, but couldn’t really do anything about it. 

If BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad has his way, you could pocket a cool ₹100 for finding potholes.Prasad explained that residents who find evidence of cracks on roads and potholes can take a photograph of it and upload the same on the BBMP’s website. The persons uploading the photographs will be rewarded with ₹100. 

The money will not be paid from the BBMP’s coffers but rather from the fine amount imposed on the engineer in charge of the zone concerned. The Commissioner’s initiative is linked to the BBMP’s deadline of repairing all potholes by January 31. 

The reward scheme could reportedly come into effect from February 1. The Commissioner said that this is a campaign to create awareness among both residents and BBMP officers and engineers.

The move appears to have been prompted by the failure of various schemes and also the fact that the BBMP officers have not paid attention to repeated complaints. Residents have complained of cracks developing within two to three months of asphalting work on roads. 

Government agencies have introduced similar reward schemes in the past. Some years ago, the BMTC had stated it would reward commuters who provided information about its vehicles that emitted excessive smoke. However, no "beneficiaries" of these schemes came forward.

Of course, if the BBMP is actually serious about disbursing funds this time around, then this seems like an excellent way for Bengalureans to make a handy addition to their salaries. If one has to send pictures of potholes, a single day's round trip around the city can easily net hundreds of pictures. If the BBMP pays up, at least a single holiday trip is assured. 

While the idea might be on the ludicrous side, this simply highlights the oddity of such schemes, which look good on a headline but feel like a divorce from reality by city planners. Is there no systematic method, wherein every road can be examined, its flaws noted and a repair crew assigned? 

Admittedly this will have to be a never-ending process in a big city like Bengaluru, but if the BBMP has the means to enact (or at least claim) such schemes, perhaps they have the know-how and ability to efficiently assign road repair teams.