| Residents on a revamp mission on Mandai-Nura road in Hazaribagh on Friday. (Vishvendu Jaipuriar)
A little sacrifice and a lot of shramdan are better than begging for funds, believe people of a potholed Hazaribagh.
Fed up with hollow promises of government representatives including local MP Yashwant Sinha and the lackadaisical attitude of the administration, town residents have rustled up some funds and are themselves repairing dilapidated roads in the run-up to the festive season.
In some areas, Durga Puja organisers have even decided to forgo elaborate celebrations to give their hometown a stronger transport lifeline.
The exemplary work began on Thursday in the Mandai neighbourhood, where a 3km stretch of road leading to Nura was taken up for revamp by the residents. Shivpuri followed in Mandais footsteps from Friday, with more than three dozen responsible denizens trooping to mend a 1.5km road with shovels and spades.
Most of these roads have not been repaired or maintained in the past two years or more. Cutting across communal lines, we collected funds and bought construction material. More than 60 people are working overtime to plug potholes with stone chips and sand the road. We hope to finish in another three days, said Prashant Kumar Sinha, a resident of Mandai.
The citizen workers, who were heard raising slogans against Sinha and Sadar MLA Saurabh Narayan Singh, claimed that the former had visited town three months ago and promised smooth roads. But, that was it. Almost every road remains riddled with potholes. The main road is so bad that you can barely walk along, let alone drive, said another resident of Mandai.
Shivpuris Ravi Kumar Sinha said it was a shame that the government never kept its words. Noted industrialist Braj Kishore Jaiswal is the zilla parishad chairman here and his son Manish Jaiswal is acting chairman of Hazaribagh municipal board. But, they have not used their power in public interest, he said.
Deputy commissioner Manish Ranjan made an attempt at damage control. I have issued instructions to my officials to revamp roads in the town and different wards. Contractors who have left projects incomplete will be blacklisted, he said.
Will you keep your promise Mr DC?