Yogi Adityanath had promised pothole-free roads by June 15 after taking charge in UP.
The Uttar Pradesh government's grand promise of making all roads in the state pothole-free has hit a few bumps. Yesterday, when its target date expired, the government admitted that the Public Works Department had not managed to transform all rickety routes into the regal driveways that it had promised. But claiming it to be a record of sorts, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said nearly 63 per cent roads in the state are now pothole-free. Opposition parties however dismissed the claim as "mere eyewash".
After taking office on March 19, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had promised pothole-free roads in the state by June 15
. But just behind the Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur, whose chief priest happens to be Mr Adityanath himself, the road is in tatters.
At Mirzapur, home to the famous Vindhyavasini temple that thousands of pilgrims visit each day, a crucial state highway that connects the town to the Jaunpur district is in very bad shape. A national highway that runs through the city is also riddled with potholes. "This road is like this for the last 15 years. Yogi ji came, gave a speech and left. He said all roads would be fixed by June 15, but it hasn't happened. No work has been done here. Accidents keep on happening," Virendra, resident of Mirzapur, told NDTV.
In Varanasi, PM Modi's Lok Sabha constituency, there are big potholes even on main roads and they give a tough time to auto drivers like Rajesh Rai. "There are big potholes everywhere in the city... what we earn, has to be used in the maintenance of these autos," said Mr Rai.
From former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh's city of Aligarh to Mr Maurya's hometown Kaushambi, the scene is the same: gaping craters adorn dusty roads.
Opposition parties have billed the issue as yet another "failure" of the Adityanath government
. "Just like their broomsticks idea, the romeo squad idea, this pothole-free roads project has also flopped. It's no use to expect any work from this government," former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party said.
Official sources said it might take two more months before people can enjoy smooth rides blaming the e-tendering process and the new mining policy which has made it difficult to get raw materials, news agency PTI reported.
But Deputy Chief Minister Maurya remained confident that the government has delivered more than its predecessors. "The work which Akhilesh and Mayawati could not do in so many years, we have done in less than 100 days," he was quoted as saying.