Without resorting to protests which block traffic and cause trouble to motorists, Hyderabadis have figured out a unique way to draw the attention of the authorities to get pothole ridden roads in the city repaired. Citizens have come up with the ingenious idea of embarrassing the minister responsible for the maintenance of roads by renaming roads after him.
This harmless protest has been effective in eliciting the desired result, after which residents across the city who are frustrated with poor roads in their locality have been following suit and renaming roads to KTR Road – KT Rama Rao is the Minister for IT and Municipal Administration and Urban Development.
In its first success, residents of East Marredpally repaired a road by spending around Rs 4,000 of their own money and renamed it to ‘KTR-Ivanka Trump Road’.
Ivanka Trump, daughter of American president Donald Trump, had visited the city in November last year to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. To create a good image of the city, the government had spent crores of rupees to revamp the existing roads, which were battered due to rains, and to beautify several areas, particularly the stretches leading to the summit’s venue.
However, other roads in the city continued to remain neglected.
Irked by this, Congress leader Krishank, along with a few locals, repaired the road themselves and named it KTR-Ivanka Trump Road as a mock protest. This attracted eyeballs and was widely reported. Taking note of it, the Greater Municipal Hyderabad Corporation (GHMC) authorities swung into action and repaired the road within 10 days.
Taking a cue from this, residents of Hafeezpet recently followed the same strategy and renamed a road in the locality to ‘KTR-IT Park-Road’. The residents erected a banner with the road’s name which also had the message: ‘Safety at your own risk.’
Similarly, on Monday, Krishank brought to attention the plight of motorists travelling through Army Ordinance Corps (AOC) in East Marredpally. Blaming the Secunderabad Cantonment Board for not repairing the potholes on the road, residents filled the potholes with mortar and stones, and renamed the stretch ‘KTR Nirmala Sitaraman Road’. Nirmala Sitaraman is the Minister for Defence.
Speaking to TNM, Krishank said, “In another month, the monsoon will begin and these roads will deteriorate further. We have made several complaints to the authorities, but all of them have been ignored. Hence we started this campaign, which is getting positive response from everyone. We are glad that the campaign has picked up elsewhere also. We will continue with the campaign until all the roads are repaired before it starts raining.”
He added, “The frequent excuse that the authorities give when we complain of bad roads during monsoon is that the roads can’t be repaired while it is raining. So, we want to ensure that the roads are repaired and ready for the monsoon.”