BENGALURU: Tired of the deadlines BBMP gives you to fix a pothole? Well, worry not because we have a superhero who will fix the pothole you point to and that too in just a few minutes!
Prathap Bhimasena Rao, an employee with a private firm, is the man behind this initiative. Pothole Raja, the name he got after fixing more than hundreds of potholes in a year, aims to make the city pothole-free.
Speaking to City Express, Rao says, personal experiences and experience of his friends and relatives with pitted roads started him on this initiative.
“My friend’s daughter died on the spot after she met with an accident near a pothole. This shook me up. Also, people around the world, whoever I met, told me how beautiful the city is but added, ‘the traffic and road condition in the city is a nightmare’.
I was surprised to know that people would spend lakhs and crores on cars and not just a few thousands to fix the roads on which the drive... I researched for a year and have been doing it from a year,” he says.
The pothole fixing costs Rao. “To fix a one-sq metre pothole with 50-mm depth will cost about `2,500. Now, I am doing with the help of a few friends. I am looking forward to having a public-private partnership model and have approached a few people in this regard,” he says.
Partner in Time
RJ Sriram Sulia of the Super Hero Show fame has also joined this initiative. The duo fixed a pothole near St John’s Road on Monday and two plan to work together for the next two week. Sulia says, “The first pothole that we fixed yesterday took flat 45 minutes!”
How to Get Help?
Rao has come up with PotholeRaja, a free mobile app. Once you register, you can post pictures and location and Rao and his team will be there in no time. You can also reach him through WhatsApp on 814POTHOLE (the letters correspond with the numbers 7684653,when you type them on keypad, he says). “The cost to fix private roads that need maintenance will be provided by those who approach us from the association. When it comes to public roads, we do a background check... we only help when BBMP has not responded properly or has kept the residents waiting for long,” he adds.
Rao and Sriram fixed a pothole near St John’s Road on Monday morning. But, a few minutes later, they were surprised when a BWSSB pipe near the pothole started leaking.“Our hard work went in vain,” says Prathap. They approached a BBMP Assistant Engineer, but he didn’t know of the pipes that were put some four decades ago. An official from Koramangala BWSSB told City Express that the issue be fixed by Tuesday night as they won’t be able to take up the repair works in the morning owing to heavy traffic on that stretch.