India has seen many a road with more potholes than tarmac, but pictures of giant craters that cover the full width of a national highway for as long as the eye can see are still a rare phenomenon.
The alarming condition of National Highway 227 that goes through Bihar’s Madhubani has been laid bare in an aerial video shot by road Praveen Thakur of Dainik Bhaskar newspaper.
The road, straight out of the obstacle race game show Takeshi’s Castle, also evoked a reaction from political strategist Prashant Kishor, a frequent critic of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
“Reminiscent of the condition of roads in Bihar in the Jungle Raj of the 90s, this is National Highway 227 (L) of Madhubani district of Bihar. Recently, Nitish Kumar ji was speaking to the people of the road construction department at an event that they should tell everyone about the good condition of roads in Bihar,” he tweeted in Hindi.
According to the Dainik Bhaskar report, the road has been in a completely dilapidated condition since 2015.
Tenders have been floated three times so far to repair it, but all contractors are now missing, having left the work unfinished.
At an event two weeks ago, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had said that road infrastructure of Bihar will be on par with that of United States by December 2024.
Bihar’s road network has seen tremendous improvement in the last few years, he said, inaugurating the eastern flank of the reconstructed Mahatma Gandhi Setu over River Ganga in Hajipur.