The National Highway No. 29 (connecting Varanasi to Gorakhpur) witnessed an unusual sight on October 19 when passerby saw wrestlers battling it out on the road.
The purpose to organise wrestling on the highway was not entertainment but to protest against the dilapidated conditions of roads. Local residents said it was the right way to attract the attention of the state government and centre towards the matter.
The NH-29 passing through Ghazipur is in a very bad condition and causes a lot of inconvenience to the people, causing traffic jams during the peak office hours; increased travel time; excessive usage of fuel (due to “slow and stop” movement); and increased vehicle wear and tear.
Due to potholed roads a lot of people have suffered fatal injuries.
Despite the fact that many locals and social workers have appealed the concerned authorities to maintain the roads, the requests have fallen on deaf ears.
Fed up with the repeated requests and no action, locals found this unique way to protest.
Locals say the protest was organised to attract the attention of Manoj Sinha, the Minister of state for Railways, who represents Ghazipur constituency, and Nitin Gadkari, the Union minister for surface transport and highways Nitin Gadkari.
According to the surface transport ministry’s road accidents report, last year, 10,727 people were killed in crashes caused by potholes, speed breakers and roads that were under repair or being constructed. Although the overall fatalities under these categories had come down marginally from 2014, the number of people killed due to potholes rose to 3,416, from 3,039 in the previous year.