An SUV lies submerged on the waterlogged Mission School Road in Hazaribagh on Monday. (Vishvendu Jaipuriar)
Hurhuru Colony in Hazaribagh town is a posh locality, housing the residences of a number of bigwigs starting from ministers to senior administrative officials and businessmen to police officers. But there is nothing remotely posh about Mission School Road, one of the main links leading to this mohalla.
The rains have exposed the dilapidated condition of the 1km stretch, which is now dotted with gigantic water-filled craters, which, at some points, resemble ponds. It’s a sheer test of nerves and patience to cross the mini pools of water that surface every few metres. Vehicles, especially heavy ones, often get caught in the craters, bobbing up and down. Commuters have to watch their every step lest they land on the potholes and break an arm or two.
Surprisingly, agriculture minister Yogendra Sao’s residence is a stone’s throw from this road while senior Congress leader and former MLA of Barhi Manoj Yadav’s house is located right on it. Yet, none has raised the issue with the authorities concerned.
Although Hurhuru has a few other roads, one connecting it to the town via Bari Bazaar mohalla and another leading to NH-33, Mission School Road is the main link. But at present, hardly 50-60 people use it every day.
“Koi dekhne sunne wala nahi hain (No one is here to listen to our pleas),” advocate Umesh Chandra Mishra, a resident of Hurhury Colony, rightly summed up the lack of concern.
“My house is situated near a point where the road has turned into a pond. Bikers fall on the water-filled crater everyday and get injured. But no one is bothered,” Mishra said.
Residents further complained that illegal coal-laden trucks coming from Barkagaon used Mission Road to evade police.
“Due to the road’s poor condition, policemen never come here for patrolling. The trucks ferrying illegal coal take advantage of this loophole. Despite the difficulties in manoeuvring the craters and potholes, they still use this stretch, further damaging it. The stretch from Private Bus Stand to Bankers’ Colony has turned into a danger zone with not less than five to six bike mishaps occurring everyday,” said a commuter.
Shreedhar Mishra, who works at a private company, said the road was an example of the authorities’ inefficiency.
“This road falls under Hazaribagh Municipal Board, but despite repeated intimations, no action has been taken to repair the stretch. Two hand pumps were installed — one near Sandwell Nursing Home and the other at Bankers’ Colony — which mainly damaged the road. Water from the hand pumps constantly flow on the road, making it dirty and soggy,” Mishra added.
Hazaribagh Municipal Board’s chairperson Anjali Kumari did admit that the road was in a dilapidated state and that people were being inconvenienced, but they were not in a position to do anything as the stretch was in the process of being handed over to the public works department.
“A request has been sent to the urban development department to hand over the road to PWD. Once we get the approval, repairs will be undertakens,” she added.