Killer Potholes: MNS workers break roads in front of Mantralaya; vandalise Mumbai PWD office

Mumbai: In a violent series of protests, the MNS workers on Monday night dug out roads in front of the Mantralaya, state’s administrative headquarters. The protest was in view of the killer potholes and collective apathy that has claimed several lives this monsoon season.

Earlier, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers also attacked and vandalised the Public Works Department office in Navi Mumbai, in what they termed a “response to increasing pothole-related deaths” in the state. The attack came a day after Maharashtra PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil claimed on Sunday, 15 July, that pothole-ridden roads cannot be entirely blamed for accidents.

In a video of the incident, they can be seen angrily hitting the road while shouting slogans. This was done in protest against the potholes of the city and the recent civic apathy of the government to take necessary action.

The pothole problem in Mumbai has escalated over the last month due to incessant rains. It has caused major disruption in the Maximum city while there have been several fatal accidents due to the potholes. Accidents on pothole-ridden roads claimed four lives in Kalyan area in the last two weeks. In all these cases, victims lost balance and fell when their two-wheelers hit a pothole.

At a time when local residents in Mumbai have been negotiating potholes galore, MNS workers decided to protest against the deplorable condition of city roads outside the Mantralaya. Shouting slogans and armed with tools, they soon began breaking the sidewalk outside the secretariate in a bid to garner attention. While one of the men waved the national flag, the remaining ten to twelve people repeatedly landed blows on the sidewalk and began throwing debris on the main road itself.

They can be seen hitting the roads with long and hard tools in order to ensure the side road in front of Mumbai Mantralaya are broken. The protest was against the collective apathy of the state’s administration and civic bodies as they have not been doing the job of ensuring safety in the city. Four people were later arrested for the same, as per reports.

Potholes have become a topic for a raging political debate in Mumbai and in Maharashtra with MNS and Congress leading the charge. Congress even began a campaign recently which sought to count the number of potholes across Mumbai roads.

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