While the National Highway authorities turned a blind eye to the potholes on National Highway 66, Padmavati a home guard, who reports to Kulai traffic police, took up the job to herself. And thanks to Mangaluru’s Nikhil Pai, she has become a social media celebrity of sorts.
The craters in front of the Baikampady Industrial area used to cause major traffic blocks and made it difficult for people driving on the road to take a U-turn. Sick and tired of it, Padmavati decided to fix the road herself.
On Saturday, Nikhil Pai, who runs the Deepak Petrol Pump at Baikampady in the outskirts of Mangaluru, spotted the home guard filling the potholes with no one to help.
“The authorities had laid roads just before the monsoons, which are known to be heavy in this part. A week after the monsoons hit, there were huge craters being formed,”said Pai.
According to Pai, Padmavati had approached the authorities to repair the roads, but her requests fell on deaf ears. She later asked them to provide her with the material at the least.
He told The News Minute that she told him that Padmavati joined the Home Guards and is attached to Mangaluru North traffic police station. She finished her ITI (diploma) course and wants to join the police force or the defence.
“She was doing the task National Highway Division officers are supposed to do. This pothole is instrumental for roadblocks,” says Pai, speaking to The News Minute.
Pai gave her some water and snacks for her and left the place and later put a post on Facebook that went viral.
Padmavati told BM that she waited for labourers to come and when they didn’t show up, she took up the job herself.
“There are three potholes in that particular spot and since vehicles move at a high speed on the highway, accidents are bound to happen. In the nearby area, bridge works are going on. We asked the authorities there to drop some asphalt and fill the pothole. Unfortunately, they dropped it a bit away from the actual spot and I decided to fill the same. We had asked them to provide labourers, but since they did not come, I went ahead with the job,” she said.