More and more individuals are following the trend of taking the ‘Green Turn’ as well as protecting their fellow citizens from dangerous roads filled with potholes. What started out as an act to create awareness among government individuals regarding dangerously deep potholes in Europe has shifted to Goa.
In 2010, Steve Wheen a cyclist from London decided to plant flowers in the holes after becoming fed up with the state of roads. Finding it a “constant menace” and almost thrown off his bike several times, he decided to take his gardening expertise to the street and soon became a sensation in the country.
Here is a sneak peek of his art.
Filling up potholes with flora became a worldwide phenomenon. It spread like it was contagious and soon other countries, including India took up this activity. Today it is common to see Goans planting all sorts of flora into potholes of various sizes. The main purpose of filling these ditches is to remind the PWD about the much needed road works as well as to prevent fellow Goans from possible road accidents.
The first village to make headlines was Borda. In order to grab the attention of the PWD, Borda residents planted a banana sapling into a pothole to open the eyes of the authorities regarding the much needed road repairs.
Following the footsteps of the Borda residents, a Papaya tree was planted in Colva. The initiative taken up by the NGO, Save Golden Goa aimed to raise the safety of commuters who travel along the busy road on a daily basis. These potholes were so large that it wasn’t a tough task planting a tree into them.
However, other locals in Goa seem to have avoided this temporary solution to a problem and have not taken the route of planting trees in potholes. Villagers of Narodra were recently seen repairing the roads themselves.
PWD repairing roads
Despite the late action, the Public Works Department (PWD) has now begun repairing the dreaded roads of the state.
Major road repair projects include:
- The Porvorim highway leading towards the Mandovi Bridge which required urgent attention is currently underway.
- Filling up potholes in Margao. The plight faced by local commuters at the eastern bypass road near the Maruti temple was attended to by the PWD after a few complaints.
- Although the progress is slow, Panjim residents are hopeful that the repairs of the damaged Miramar – Dona Paula road will soon be completed.
- Bringing much relief to the locals, the PWD team was seen repairing the dilapidated roads of Anjuna-Caisua, by filling up potholes along the road from Assagao to Anjuna-Chapora.
Either saving the planet one tree at a time, or cautioning commuters in the state, Goa’s progress is slow. We need to push harder and become more productive if we want to see real change. With that said, I hope we Goans will take a stand more often and that the creativity will continue to flow!
Picture Credits: Billytoons Goa