Angry Potholes Tweet to Complain!

Angry Potholes Tweet to Complain!

By Somali K Chakrabarti

June is the month when monsoon begins in Mumbai. As the clouds overcast the sky, and welcome drops of rain provide the much needed respite from heat, we Mumbaikars prepare to brace the monsoon.

This is also the time of the year when we have to prepare ourselves to wade or drive through waterlogged roads, maneuvering with care to avoid the poodles and potholes.

Mumbai, being the city of extremities, on one hand boasts of plush buildings, towers and malls and on the other hand has roads that are filled up with potholes during the monsoons.

Mumbai potholes

Just like pimples erupt on the face of girls’ as soon they enter their teens, potholes of various shapes and sizes emerge on the surface of the roads right after the first few showers. Some grow as big as craters on the surface of the moon. If you aren’t careful enough, boy you’re in muddy waters!

But what if these potholes instead of just sitting and increasing in size with every passing shower, started complaining as soon as some vehicle passed over them?

Sounds gibberish?

Hold on!  This is exactly what has happened in Panama City, the capital of Panama in South America.

In an innovative initiative launched by Telemetro Reporta, an influential news show in Panama City, in collaboration with ad agency P4 Ogilvy & Mather, the potholes are fitted with RF transmitters and pressure sensors that trigger off tweets with 140 character rants when vehicles pass over them.

Tweeting potholes
Tweeting Potholes | Image credit : Shared by @PSFK on Twitter


Every time a vehicle passes the potholes they send a complain tweet to the Public Works Department, to draw their attention and request them to repair the potholes. Have a look here.

The tweets are sent to the Twitter Account @Elhuecotwitero,

This innovative initiative for creating public awareness about the condition of the roads has created a buzz in the social media and has also resulted in people demanding action from authorities responsible for repairing the potholes.

Unique isn’t it?

Do you think this will work in India? Pilferage comes first to my mind.

Don’t forget to share your opinion.



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  • This is a cool idea- definitely worth trying in India.

  • Wow ..that is a real innovative step.
    Thankfully Delhi has no potholes bcoz of no rains

  • This is an intriguing info Somali. :D Thanks for writing about this and I believe this will work in India since things work here with consistent pestering. Sending tweets to government officials consistently will definitely drive them crazy. Our potholes are so many in number, that in a week’s time, there will be some or the other action.
    BUT, there is also the possibility of the transmitters being removed due to tweet nuisance :P Well, what do I say? Our government have their own ways.

  • A good way to use twitter.

  • Pranab chakraborti

    June 7, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Yes it’s an innovative idea. But difficult to implement. Authorities are fully aware of the situation. Not that they can’t make pothole free roads but use sub standard materials. Every year people complain about this and even court orders can’t give us relief.

  • thats such an innovative solution, why do I think that the municipal corporations will make the sensor go kaput the day they are installed? but yeh Mumbai needs a solution as such desperately, remember my bad times on western express highway where water from the potholes would splash on me sitting in an autorickshaw and it was a nightmare all of monsoon!

    • Hey you are not alone in thinking so Shweta. Almost everybody would have the same apprehension. Nonetheless it could be worth trying in a limited way (on say a stretch in the Western Express Highway ) to see if it works.
      Have a nice day. :-)

  • Quite innovative alternate to send complaints and as per changing times …the web2.0 way. Pilferage….yeah can be a possibility.

  • Very innovative approach to solve the problem of potholes. I wish it becomes a reality in India too.

  • Hahah, that’s one innovative solution to really piss the authorities. I wish it was that simple to implement such ideas in our land where concerned authorities are so concerned about our grievances and are very much adaptable to new technologies! :D

  • Haa yea this would be amazing. I don’t know why but I feel the Aam Admi Party can seriously consider this in Delhi :P :D . But hey thanks for sharing this news somali !!

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