On a spree to curb the ever rising pothole problem in the city, is a solo Bengalurean – Prathaap Bhimasena Rao, popularly known as Pothole Raja. He fixes potholes on requests via whatsapp, using excellent materials – all in hope to rid namma city of one of the most complained about issue.
We get in touch with the Pothole Raja of the city to find out more about how he is trying to do his bit to curb the problem. For somebody who worked as a pilot in the Indian Air Force, coming up with a remedy for terrible city roads, is very far-fetched. “I have travelled all over the world and when people ask where I’m from, they tell me what a great city Bengaluru is but always complain about the terrible roads. I didn’t want that to be their idea of our brilliant city. And also, if college student can do their bit for society when they are so young, I should be doing so much more at my age!” adds the enterprising young lad who soon plans on recruiting women and transgenders to fix potholes. “It’s all about generating employment – transgenders don’t get employed very easily and I want to make a change in that sphere too. Plus the work isn’t physically intense so it can be done easily,” says Prathaap who also doubles as a teacher at institutions like IIM Bangalore and Ramaiah.
But without studying or having any knowledge about civil engineering, how did he mange to come up with a solution? “It took a lot of time and research. I met with civil engineers who gave me all the information I needed on amending the potholes,” says Prathaap who also runs his own organisation – Ground Reality on the sidelines.
And when does he get to fix the roads, considering the constant flow of traffic? “It takes a maximum of thirty minutes to fix one pothole, so I try to do it over weekends when the traffic is comparatively lesser. If that’s also not possible, I do it at night,” says Prathaap.
He goes on to reveal that he has got no funding from government authorities whatsoever. “When I tell them of what I do, they are just happy that I am not asking them for funding and are glad I am taking it up as a solo initiative,” says the Bengalurean who is also working on an app that senses potholes and road humps, configures the information and provides it to Google, which in turn can warn people using their maps....