Every year, the streets of Mumbai are riddled with potholes due to heavy rains. In fact, potholed roads are a common sight across Mumbai especially during and after monsoons. This year it took only two days of continuous rains for these hazards to show up.
Frustrated with the recurring potholes menace, Mumbaikars have taken up humour to bring attention to the poor upkeep of the roads. While Internet users were trying their best to bring this to the notice of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), it was RJ Malishka Mendosa’s funny song video addressing the municipal body that really caught their eye and millions that live in this country.
This song called “Mumbai, Tula BMC var bharosa nai kay?” (Mumbai, don’t you have faith in BMC) comments on the condition of roads and the nightmarish reality of bad traffic in Mumbai that has been a cause of concern for years.
But instead of taking it as positive criticism, BMC reacted with their own video mocking Malishka. They seem to have more time to reply to videos than to actually do the job they are paid to do. To top it off, they have the audacity to send a team from the Civic Health Department to Malishka’s residence in Bandra and charge her for “breeding mosquitoes in her home”. They sent her a notice and asked her to pay Rs. 10,000 as fine. The notice read that the mosquitoes which were found at RJ Malishka’s residence were identified as aedes mosquitoes and were breeding in a clay bowl kept under a pot.
However, Mumbaikars came out in support of of Malishka. The likes of VJ Jose Covaco and RJ Anirudh joined in, because more than the complaints, a funny take seemed to generate more attention. VJ Jose Covaco was seen in a video walking around different areas of Mumbai, describing potholes as hi-tech speed-breakers, chai (tea) for birds, and more. In the over 2 minute-long video, the comedian visited and analysed roads in different areas of Mumbai, including cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and RJ Malishka’s homes.
RJ Anirudh of Big FM said that he supported Malishka as she had not used any defamatory words in her song, and that whatever she had said was right. Even RJ Akki of FM Rainbow supported Malishka. However, he said that she could have also lodged a formal complaint with the concerned authority regarding monsoon related issues.
But for some protesters this matter is of serious concern. A man named Dadarao Bhilore lost his son Prakash last year after his bike fell into a pothole in Marol. Now he goes around filling potholes himself in his free time. Despite filling up so many potholes, he says that it’s of no use because “more and more are emerging day after day”.
Potholes has always been a problem for Mumbaikars every monsoon, and nothing is done by the authorities to prevent it. BMC and MMRDA are busy blaming each other over filling of potholes, which they have failed to do till now.
But, although the repair and maintenance of roads is the solely responsibility of BMC, I believe we should try to support them instead of making them look incompetent. The idea is to do your part to help the government and its subsidies and the fruits of patience and support will surely come through. After all, the blame game only reveals the problem, but the solution can only be found with cooperatively working with and supporting government initiatives.
So, report any potholes outside your residence to the BMC so they can take preventive action towards it.