BHAWNA ATMARAM

 

BHAWNA ATMARAM

Since the dawn of time, holes have been pretty much fascinating for humans. Whether it be from a functional (digging pit latrines or graves), astronomical (black holes), aesthetic (body piercings) or biological perspective (nostrils,… need I say more?!), holes are highly relevant to our contemporary lifestyle. Just drive along our Mauritian roads and you will w-holeheartedly agree with me! The situation is so chaotic that driving has become more challenging than footballer Lionel Messi dribbling the ball across a slippery pitch.

The national contagion of potholes and treacherous manholes is now blowing a hole in our sanity and wallets. We must urgently acknowledge that our roads have more holes than Swiss cheese despite the road, council, income and other taxes we pay. There is absolutely no excuse for ruinous potholes and manholes to slash our tyres causing them to explode majestically, mutilate our vehicles’ suspension system and impair our muscle functions through the unceremonious throwing, thrusting and jerking of our bodies when there is nowhere to go but straight into these holes. No wonder chronic back pain accounts for one of the top ailments afflicting fellow islanders. These holes are especially hazardous for cyclists and motorcyclists. One wrong move and it is down the hellhole.

Despite our governors’ numerous claims of revamping the road network system, it seems that most efforts do go down the rat hole. I understand the human compulsion for orifices but we need to know where to draw the line. How about starting with responsibility and accountability? Road maintenance is a priority for any developed and modern country. If Mauritius wants to play in the top league, there should be no excuses. Potholes are just an accident waiting to happen. As for manholes, it is also a matter of etiquette to attend to them properly after opening them. Keeping the borders slick and prim and raising them to the road level is no less of a gentlemanly act.

Manholes require delicate handling, before and after. Just good manners, people! The lesson is for our governors to stop going down the rabbit hole by having a dynamic team readily acknowledging the jeopardous potholes and manholes. Incurring the various costs of owning a vehicle does not come cheap, particularly with the recent hike in the price of petrol, which miraculously never goes down despite an occasional drop in prices on the international front. Asking for decent roads is not asking for mission impossible. Cross-consultation and collaboration are vitally required so that once maintenance work of any nature is undertaken, the roads are promptly and properly patched. As for manholes, the biggest compliment we can pay them is by making them unnoticeable. All it takes is a little pampering. For once, authorities should stop digging when they are in a hole. They should instead focus on working harmoniously with each other to achieve that hole in one!