Yogi Adityanath wants pothole-free roads in Uttar Pradesh by Nov 15
In a review meeting, the CM expressed his displeasure and directed the principal secretary to do something about the bad roads
Ranvijay Singh 19 Oct 2019 1:57 PM GMT
"The market is just 8 kms from our village, but it takes between 40 minutes and one hour to cover this distance. The road is so bad that we have to ride our bikes at the speed of a bicycle," said Rajkumar Singh, 45, who lives in Belhara village in Barabanki district in Uttar Pradesh.
The road which Singh was talking about is an eight km stretch that leads to Mohammadpur Khala from his village Belhara. This road is in a pathetic state. Out of helplessness, locals in this village use this road riddled with potholes. This, obviously, is not the only stretch in the state.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath raps the state
Recently, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath expressed his displeasure with the pathetic conditions of roads in the state. In a review meeting organised at Lokbhavan in states capital Lucknow, he specifically mentioned the pathetic condition of roads in rural areas and directed the principal secretary of the rural development department to do something about it. During the meeting, he also instructed that all roads in the state should be pothole-free by November 15.
The potholes were first discussed way back in 2017 during the second cabinet meeting of the Yogi government. During this meeting held in the second week of April 2017, it was decided that the all roads of the state have to be repaired and made potholes-free by June 15, 2017. On June 15, 2017, UP's deputy CM and PWD minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, in a press conference, informed 63% roads in the state were pothole-free.
As per the data provided by Keshav Prasad Maurya, roads spread in an area of 1,21,034 kms were put in the category of potholes-riddled roads. Of these, according to him, 76,356 kms were repaired.
When Gaon Connection inspected roads in rural areas in 10 districts of the state, most of the roads were found to be in pathetic condition. Sanjeev Kumar, 40, who lives in Sirsa village, which is 25 kms from Kannuj district in the state, said: "Conditions of roads in the cities may have improved, but in villages, nothing has changed. We face a lot of problems while commuting. In some villages, people have repaired roads on their own using mud. Nobody in our village has come for inspection so far." Similar situation was seen in many villages in the 10 districts.
Would the roads be made pothole-free this time? Gaon Connection team talked to many people living in villages of several districts. Vaibhav Srivastava, a primary school teacher in Sant Kabir Nagar district of the state, informed Gaon Connection that his primary school is in Baira village and that the bypass through which he travels has been left undone from past many years. "There's a bypass in Lucknow-Gorakhpur highway. This stretch is about five-kms long. But this route is in poor condition. The road has so many potholes. This is why no one gets any public transport there. The situation worsens during rainy season."
"This road was constructed in 2009. No work has been done on this stretch since then. In 2017, the new government talked about constructing pothole-free roads. I clicked pictures of this road and posted these pictures in the 'Meri Sadak' application as well. But no work was done for this. I guess that this road would never get repaired," added the school teacher.
Similar is the situation in Nagariya Kala village in Bareli district of the state. The stretch of five kms from Shergarh town to Nagariya Kala village is in despair. It is broken at many ends. Netrapal Singh, who lives in the same village told Gaon Connection that there are so many potholes in this road that repairing work will take more than a couple of months. "We have informed about it to the pradhan and even the BDO. But nobody has listened to us. It is becoming bad to worse, but nobody is bothered about it," said Netrapal.
Situation of Ratoli village in Sitapur district is no less than Nagariya Kala village in Bareli. Champa Devi, 65, who lives in the same village, said: "This road has been in poor condition from so long that I don't even remember how long has it been. We use this road out of helplessness. If pradhan wishes then this road could be repaired, but I don't know why he is not looking into this." She added, "It is my last wish that this road may get repaired."
If we talk about the highways that connect cities with these villages, they too are in bad condition. The highway that connects Pilibhit to the Basti is deplorable. Lalman, who is a driver by profession, drives a truck on this highway, he told Gaon Connection that the highway is in a very sorry state. "Our trucks' tyres get damaged while we drive on this highway. We can't even say when our tyres may get punctured."
Similar is the situation of a 44-kilometre stretch that connects Behri from West Fatehgunj in Bareli. This road in Shergarh town is broken. Filthy water from drains leaks into the roads. This causes problems for the travellers.
Sachin Gangwar, 26, who lives in this village, said: "We have complained about this road many times. But this was never repaired. Last time, when we got to know about the repair work, we thought that road would be repaired, but nothing like that happened. I hope that this road gets repaired this time. This will help many people."
(Virendra Singh from Barabanki contributed to this story)