NHA Shoddily Repairs Road After Rajkot Man Buries Self in Pothole
Lakshman Bathwar, a local truck driver, put up a protest to get Rajkot’s Greenland Crossroads repaired.
Video Editor: Mohd Irshad
On 11 September, Lakshman Bathwar, a local truck driver from Rajkot, buried himself in a pothole just to get the attention of the National Highway Authority (NHA). Greenland Crossroads, the entry point to Rajkot from Ahmedabad, is filled with potholes. Due to heavy rain, the water accumulates in the potholes, making matters worse.
Others noticed quickly. Gangabhai Mer, a friend of Bathwar’s, also joined him, covering himself in mud like Bathwar as a symbolic protest.
“This pothole has been there for a month. I take this road every day. A lot of vehicles cross this road daily. Nobody cares if someone falls or if vehicles get damaged, be it bikes, motorcycles, or four-wheelers.”Lakshman Bathwar
In response to Bathwar’s protest, the NHA acted soon. However, only the pothole was repaired, and Bathwar says the work is ‘substandard’.
Bathwar expressed his disappointment for the NHA taking notice only after his demonstration, and leaving the other potholes on the road untouched.
“The mud used to cover the pothole is eroding already. Rainwater will damage it again. The entire stretch has been only roughly patched up.”Lakshman Bathwar
He added that with such poorly maintained footpaths and roads, Rajkot can hardly be called a ‘smart city.’
“Is this even a smart city? The entire path is poorly done. What have they done with the taxpayers’ money? The people of Rajkot should wake up and make politicians realise the same people who vote you to power can also take this power away from you.”Lakshman Bathwar
When approached after Bathwar’s protest, here’s what an official from the National Highway Authority of India said:
"There was an inspection on 9 September, and consequently, the officials were there to fix the pothole, but during that duration, the person concerned staged a demonstration. The entire road was repaired in the month of June itself, but due to continuous rainfall, it got damaged.”
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