“It used to be somewhere here. Beside the raised manhole and the road divider. It was uneven, bumpy but nevertheless it was there. Now I cannot find the road I used to take to office,” this has been the dilemma of many Hyderabadis after the recent downpour.
For those who have never been abroad, a road is a stretch of flat surface, usually black and smooth on which people drive vehicles and there are paths on either side of the road for people who want to walk.
So where did the road go? Was it stolen like the ‘bowli' in that Hyderabadi fable which was made into a movie by Shyam Benegal, or was it kidnapped like the fish pond in Posani Krishna Murali's movie, or heaven forbid, was it killed? Going by the reports of what city fathers are saying at the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation it is most likely injured.
“Let me put band aid first. We…will scrape the old top layer to lay a better surface even if the cost increases by five per cent. Cement roads will be laid wherever possible even if it means closing one side for traffic,” GHMC Commissioner Sameer Sharma told the corporators on Friday giving the impression of an injured road.
This argument of band aid is not bought by many citizens who feel the road most likely has been pocketed as they cannot see it anymore in its original place. You can apply band aid to an injury if it is there, how can you apply band aid to something that is not there?
When a road disappears it is something of a shock. Like Guru Kumar discovered on a Friday morning on the Raj Bhavan Road when the person ahead of him discovered the road missing and slammed his brake forcing Guru Kumar to ram him and take a tumble breaking his toe.
Allegedly, Rs 400 crore is spent annually on roads in the city by the civic body. While the roads are disappearing, religious structures are sprouting up like mushrooms after a spring rain in places where there used to be roads. While people want roads and the Supreme Court doesn't want religious structures on the roads neither of the wish is being fulfilled.
Reports of missing roads are trickling into this office from locations like Rethi Bowli, Sainikpuri, West Marredpally, Petla Burj, Purana Pul, Lakdi ka Pul (just outside the DGP's office), HiTec City and dozens of other places.
While some people are wondering about the road that disappeared, many others are searching for it at the unlikeliest of places, pedestrian pathways, doorways and even road dividers.