news Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 05:30
Mahatma Gandhi had once said that “you must be the change you wish to see in the world” But what really happens sometimes when frustrated citizens take up issues and deal with it in their own way? For over a 100 residents and traders belonging from areas near the Maduravoyal-Koyamebdu stretch on Chennai’s Poonamallee High Road learnt this lesson the hard way when they decided to repair a badly damaged road on their own. Despite repeated requests to the government to repair the stretch filled with potholes, the lack of action prompted the residents to buy their own supply of wet cement to repair the roads.  Money was raised for the purpose.  However, even before people got down to the work, 29 of them were arrested by the police on charges disturbing peace under CrPC Section 151, on Monday, reported The Times of India. Police intervening as citizens begin the road repair Said to be a preventive measure as no permission was taken, the arrested were then released in the evening. However, all has not gone in vain for the residents, as the National Highway Authority of India has promised to set the road right in a week. "We weren't going to relay the roads, we were only going to cover the potholes to avoid accidents,"  said Yuvraj, the head of Public Environment and Awareness Society who spoke to The News Minute. The problem has been going on for atleast five years, he says. They told us that we cannot do the work, he adds.   If they dont abide by these deadlines, the residents plan to conduct a protest on August 3. Instances of VVIP favoritism is not too uncommon. While complete traffic blockage during VIP convoy passage is a norm in many places, one man in Kayamkulam, Kerala got arrested for questioning the lack of traffic signal obedience by a Kerala minister on Sunday. The incident occurred at a traffic signal when a pilot vehicle and a car carrying the Minister for Fisheries, Ports and Excise, K Babu reportedly attempted to move forward despite a red signal at the Kayamkulam ONK junction. It was then that a man on a bike in front of the minister’s vehicle, refused to budge stating that the rules of the road were for ministers too. Even though the man was detained after a complaint by the minister’s officials, he was let go after people at the scene started protesting. However, police at the scene gave a different version, blaming the incident on malfunctioning traffic signal. “One person was arrested yesterday following the gunman’s complaint that he abused the minister; we did not charge any case. He was shouting at the minister for not following the traffic rules and signal, but actually there were some issues with traffic lights there in the junction,” Ratheesh Kumar, Sub Inspector Kayamkulam police station told The News Minute. But instead, reports suggest that there was no issue with the traffic signal which had been inaugurated at the particular junction on the very same day. In two places citizens have been made to bear the brunt for being pro-active.

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