Irked with crumbling, pothole-ridden roads that have become a commuting nightmare, the citizens of Hyderabad have decided to register their protest online.
An online petition on Change.org that asks for safe roads in Hyderabad within six months, or a refund of the road taxes paid by citizens, has garnered over 12,000 signatures in a single day.
The petition, started by Raja Mamidi, has seen several people sharing it on social media like Twitter and Facebook and venting their ire on the poor state of the city's infrastructure.
"Heavy rains for the past one week have damaged the city and created the usual potholes. Even national highways passing through the city are badly damaged with sinkholes and washed out bitumen," the petition reads.
Citing a recent study, the petition also states that, "There are about 340 locations in Kukatpally zone which are critical and there are 880 choke points which are causing water logging during heavy showers."
It also points out how thousands of software employees are stuck in perpetual traffic jams, while trying to reach their offices and homes in the IT hub of Madhapur, Kondapur and Gachibowli.
Speaking to TNM, Raja said that the petition was started out of frustration and concern.
Speaking about the incident that triggered the petition, Raja says, "One of my employees got stuck in a manhole on Monday, and fell from his bike. He called us, and we rushed to get him first aid, but it took us more than two hours to help him out."
"We realised that it could happen to anyone, and not everyone was as fortunate. That's when we thought that we should take action," Raja, who is a IIIT-graduate and an entrepreneur, adds.
"On Tuesday morning, we had around 30 signatures, and we had more than 12,000 by Wednesday morning. We are hoping for a greater reach, so it comes to the notice of the concerned authorities," Raja says.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) must at least face this heat, and understand the problems that the citizens are facing. It is their responsibility to fix these roads, and I'm expecting a dialogue with this petition," Raja adds.
The petition demands a public announcement from the Telangana government on three things.
1. Identifying the damaged roads/drainages in the city and make the data publicly available. So that public can contribute for the data set.
2. Action plan with timelines about fixing the roads.
3. Continual public announcements on the progress of the promised timelines till it is completely achieved.
A link to the petition can be found here.