Mumbai: Having lost faith in the city's civic authorities, a man here has been filling street potholes for the last three years. Meet Dadarao Bilhore whose inspirational tale has a tragic beginning.
Bilhore lost his son - Prakash - to a road accident caused by a pothole on June 28 of 2015. At the time, he found it hard to come to terms with the fact that civic apathy had caused a precious life to be lost. Instead of blaming BMC and other civic authorities, and waiting on their promises to rid Mumbai of potholes, Bilhore eventually decided to take things into his own hands and began filling craters on roads all on his own.
What began as one man's determination to ensure nobody met a tragic accident like his son had soon became an inspirational tale and this year, many fellow citizens joined Bilhore in ensuring that city roads are as perfect as they could possibly make them. "Our nation has a huge population. If even one lakh of us start filling potholes, India will become pothole-free," he told news agency ANI.
Mumbai is infamous for the shoddy condition of its roads - especially during the rainy months. While CM Devendra Fadnavis recently claimed that the number of potholes in the city has come down, ground realities point to a different direction. Earlier this month, a woman fell off a bike when the rider was trying to avoid a pothole, and was a run over by a truck passing by. Such incidents, unfortunately, are plenty and across Indian cities.
Time and again, it has been reported that contractors use under-hand measures to win road-building and road-repairing tenders and then use sub-standard materials to get the job done. Roads already in pathetic conditions are often only repaired before elections and at other times, commuters are left to fend for themselves. Of course, there are some now like Bilhore who have shown that if you want something done - and done right, you have to take it upon yourself.