At a review meeting recently, the district collector of Kochi, Kerala, was addressing the issue of fixing the potholes on the roads. While doing so, he drew attention to the fact that the employees of the municipal corporation were getting their salaries from the tax paid by the citizens. Therefore, it was up to them to ensure that the citizens’ work is done. He stated that he would personally check the roads to see if the work is being done properly. And if the quality of work is not up to the mark or is not in alignment with what the records show, he will register a case against the employees.
It is reported that an alarming 3600 people died in India due to accidents caused by potholes last year.
Kochi is not the only city that is suffering from pothole menace. Residents of Nagpur too are battling damaged roads. Recently, a resident of Bengaluru dressed as an astronaut staged a moonwalk around the potholes in Bengaluru, and his video went viral on social media. Many youngsters have followed suit and posted similar videos in the hope that authorities will take necessary steps to repair them at the earliest.
However, the strategy adopted by the collector of Kochi is probably the best and most appropriate for making the authorities responsible for the roads accountable for their work.
The Collector is determined to ensure that the roads are repaired satisfactorily. He has told the employees that if the potholes in the city are not fixed and the quality of work is not up to the mark, their salaries will be cut.
Officials from the Public Works Department (PWD), Kochi Corporation, Greater Cochin Development Authority and District Police were present at the review meeting.
All present were instructed to furnish photographs of the roads, before and after repair work.
The Kerala High Court has also intervened in the matter. It has issued a notice to the State Government, the Kochi Corporation as well as the public works department.