To Rid City Of Potholes, Mumbai Residents Turn To Humour

Mumbai:  Frustrated with the potholes menace, Mumbai residents are now relying on humour to draw the attention of agencies that are responsible for road upkeep.

City residents are taking to social media with their humorous takes on potholes that emerge every year during Monsoon. While some suggested that the potholes were filled with tea (trying to derive a similarity between the beverage and the murky water that gets filled in potholes), others joked that the residents need nano boats to navigate through the potholes.

Some Mumbaikers also distributed pain relief balm to motorists on the streets to ease the pain of a bumpy ride.

VJ Jose Covaco was seen in a video walking around different areas of Mumbai, describing potholes as hi-tech speed-breakers, chai (tea) for birds, and more. In the over 2 minute-long video, the comedian is seen walking around different areas of Mumbai, including cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and RJ Malishka’s house’s, as he tries to give potholes different definitions. The video posted on Twitter has almost 13,000 ‘likes’ and more than 10,000 retweets.

RJ Malishka’s musical parody to draw the BMC’s notice to the pothole problem has given a fillip to the residents in the city. This morning, citizens gathered in area filled with potholes in Marol wearing masks with the popular RJ’s face embossed on it.

“She has now become a symbol of the citizen protest regarding the conditions of our road. Mumbai gives the country the largest share of tax and what do we get in return a road – potholes? There are more craters here than probably on the moon,” Marolo resident Ladislaus Pereira opined.

Godfrey Pimenta from the Watchdog Foundation was seen distributing pain relief balm to citizens. Last year, the group had used umbrellas with photos of huge potholes to highlight the pothole issue. “We have been doing this programme since past 4 years. Every year we come out with something new. This year we have designed a special balm. Apply this cream and get a relief from the potholes,” he said.

However for some of the protesters the matter was more serious. Dadarao Bhilore lost his son Prakash last year after his bike fell into a pothole in Marol. Today he goes around filling potholes himself in his free time. “We fill up so many potholes but that’s of no use because more and more are emerging day after day. In Mumbai, so much money is spent just behind these potholes, but we don’t understand where this money goes,” Mr Bhilore told NDTV.

Mr Pimenta claimed the officials in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC are shirking responsibility and allowing contractors to get away with a shoddy job. He however hopes this burst of humour will move the agencies to action and provide some relief to citizens.

Apart from the BMC, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Limited are largely responsible for maintaining the city’s roads.

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