Residents in Raipur, India, name potholes after politicians

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 September, 2013, 4:27am


The potholes in the Indian city of Raipur are so big that angry locals are conducting ceremonies to name them after prominent officials in a bid to draw attention to the poor condition of the roads.

Hindu priests in the capital of poverty-stricken, lawless Chhattisgarh state have so far performed rituals naming three of the biggest holes after the chief minister of the state as well as the ministers for housing and public works, said The Times of India.

Even in India's wealthier states, corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency mean roads are often left unrepaired. The situation is particularly bad after the monsoon rains.

This year's monsoon, now in its last days, has been particularly long and heavy. This is good for farmers, but bad for road users.

Satyawan Gupta, a businessman in Raipur, said his 20-mile commute to his factory was torture. "During the monsoons, it is impossible to gauge how deep a pothole is as the roads are under deep water," he said.

"It is so dangerous at times. If there is one place that deserves to be named after our politicians, it is the potholes of Raipur."

Gupta said he had sustained neck injuries after bouncing across cratered road surfaces.

Such protests are increasingly common.

Dissatisfaction with the Indian state's ability to deliver basic services is widespread. Growing urban centres lack proper sanitation and transport systems as well as schools, clinics and police stations.

A recent survey said the country's cities needed around US$1 trillion worth of investment.

Opposition candidates are hoping to exploit disappointment with the ruling coalition government, which is led by the Congress party and has been in power since 2004, at a general election next spring.