In July 2013, the traffic police department of Bengaluru had identified 16,000 potholes in the city that were unfilled. During monsoons the potholes are difficult to spot when submerged. During monsoon the potholes submerge under incessant downpour and result in fatal accidents. The big threat is to bikers who loose balance after hitting submerged potholes. Question is do we sit back and blame the system or do we do something about this menace?? Let us look at some real life examples of how people went about solving this problem.
Do it yourself
Sometime ago in July 2013 (yes July again), the citizens of Kochi, Kerala decided to get rid of the menace themselves. Joining them in this initiative was Malayalam superstar Jayasurya. So Jayasurya and his friends gathered late at night and filled potholes with metal. A temporary solution but the presence of a film star got the attention of all TV channels and inaction on part of the city administration drew serious flak. All the leading news papers and local channels both locally and nationally covered the story. Instead of accepting the mistake the mayor later blamed Jayasurya for deriving publicity from his actions and drew more flak for his statements. However the stunt it seems did not go in vain, by August though the Kochi corporation had the highest priority for this problem with the mayor himself evaluating possible solutions.
Name and shame
The people of Raipur named potholes after the state chief minister and also minister of public works department. They also invited priests to conduct naming ceremony of potholes to attract more public attention. The potholes were thereafter named Brijmohan gaddha (hole in Hindi), Raman gaddha among others.
Citizens of Russia suffer from similar inaction by city administrators and they too decided to shame city administration with innovative schemes. From planting potatoes in potholes to painting the picture of politicians around the potholes, several ideas made news and attracted attention of the authorities.
Publich Grievances Portal
If you do not want to go to such extremes, there is yet another simple way to draw attention – The Public Grievances portal (PGP) . Click on the link “Lodge your grievance here” and select the appropriate state government.
Fill in all the details and if possible upload the pictures of the potholes as a PDF file.
I’m surprised that even those who vociferously advocate for Jan Lokpal are unaware of this facility hosted by the Government of India. I have used the system on two occasions and achieved success in getting attention of the appropriate ministry.
Don’t wait for the next monsoon to get rid of potholes and don’t wait for the next elections to get work done from our Babu’s and ministers. Today is a good day to start.
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