Mumbai. A study conducted by USSRA (Useless Surveys, Studies and Research Association) has thrown up the shocking fact that there is a clear link between the potholes that plague Mumbai’s roads and statements made by politicians across the country. People of Mumbai are now demanding a blanket ban on statements by certain politicians. The study focused on statements made by stalwarts like Mr. Digvijay Singh, Mr. Raj Babbar, Mr. Ajit Pawar, Mr. Beni Prasad Verma and Mr. Bhim Singh, to name a few, and the ensuing effects on potholes. The results are quite shocking.
Mr. Khadde, a senior employee at USSRA told this correspondent, “We have previously published studies on important topics like ‘How to lose weight without eating’ and ‘Paani puri at Dadar station vs. Paani puri at Goregaon station: which is a better laxative’. We had to figure out the reason behind this pothole menace and hence, we decided to conduct this study. The people of this city blame the poor contractors for the pockmarked city roads. However, they work diligently when it comes to maintaining roads and use the best quality material. We will soon be publishing the results of a related study – Road Contractors and Civic Authorities: Beacons of Integrity and Honesty!”
On being asked to stick to the point, an irritated Mr. Khadde stated, “I was driving along the Western Express Highway with my team, when Mr. Raj Babbar made that remark about the 12 Rs. meal. In a flash, hundreds of potholes sprung up along the stretch of road we were driving on. It was like we were navigating rapids, minus the water and the oars and the raft. We didn’t figure out the reason immediately. A few days later as I was standing in the building compound, a certain ‘Rahul’ baba, the heir to India’s biggest political party, gave a statement about poverty being a state of mind. That led to potholes appearing in my building compound. I knew there was something mysterious going on.” Mr. Khadde refused to elaborate further as he feared that political activists would turn up at USSRA and he would lose his job.
Sources in USSRA stated, on the condition of anonymity, that the problem gets highly aggravated when Mr. Digvijay Singh and his protégé issue statements. Apparently, when other politicians pass comments, only the highways are affected. But when Mr. Digvijay Singh or his protégé makes a statement, the potholes not only multiply in number on the highways, but also spring up along the by lanes and roads in the suburbs. The study also suggests that the situation becomes critical when such politicians appear for an interview or deliver a speech. It has also been suggested that the pothole problem actually picked up pace with Mr. Ajit Pawar’s comments a few months back when he proposed a unique solution to the water crisis in various parts of the state
The study is proving to be a shot in the arm for the civic authorities in the financial capital. The Commissioner of the local body, the B.M.C., told this reporter that they felt vindicated. The Mayor of Mumbai also told this reporter that he knew of this problem and hence, only made statements while on foreign tours. Unfortunately, as soon as he was done talking, reports came in of potholes appearing on the road leading up to his palatial residence.
The reporter did have an appointment with Mr. Raj Babbar, but he decided not to go ahead with the interview, keeping in mind the sorry state of the roads in the city. Unconfirmed reports also hint at an addendum in the study which suggests that Dr. Manmohan Singh’s speeches help in pothole repairs.