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Jun 03, 2013 at 10:08am IST

Russia: Activists plant potatoes in potholes in protest

Moscow: A group of activists in the central Russian city of Yaroslavl have planted potatoes in street potholes across the city "to see if these potatoes will grow sooner than the city authorities repair the roads".

Road construction and repair in Russia is notoriously inefficient, with funds allocated for road maintenance often embezzled or misused.

The quality of the road surface in many parts of the country remains extremely poor, even when highways are frequently repaired.

Russia: Activists plant potatoes in potholes in protest

The activists said they wanted to see if 'these potatoes will grow sooner than the city authorities repair the roads'.

Participants, equipped with light-reflecting vests and spray paint, drew rings around several hundreds of potholes on the city roads Sunday in a bid to attract the attention of city authorities.

The activists, most of them drivers, took photos of their work and are planning to send them to the city mayor's office with a letter demanding to improve road maintenance.

"I want my voice to be heard by the authorities. (I want) them to start improving roads, which, in fact, are non-existent now," said one of the activists, Ruslan Allayarov.

"I drive my car daily, and every five or ten minutes I run into a pothole. I'm outraged by that."

Similar campaigns, organised by the Angry Urbanites public organisation, were held in numerous Russian cities this spring.

In Tomsk city, activists planted flowers in potholes in late May.

On April 1, activists of the movement found over 100 potholes on the roads of Moscow and spray-painted them at night.

According to an old Russian saying: "Russia has two woes - fools and roads".

In a survey released in January by the Federal Statistics Service (FSS), over 60 percent of Russians cited bad roads among their main concerns.

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