In this video, an elderly couple is seen with their Fiat Palio as “Pothole Ambulance” in Hyderabad. This is an exquisite example of what an individual with strong willpower can achieve. On the flip side, it does bring to the front, the sorry state of affairs of our authorities in power. Gangadhar Tilak Katnam, a retired Railways employee, brought the issue of potholes on the roads to the concerned authorities repeatedly. However, no one bothered to do anything about it.
He then, along with his wife, Venkateshwari Katnam decided to take matters into their own hands 11 years ago. Since then, the couple has filled over 2,000 potholes at various places in Hyderabad. What is even more shocking is the fact that they have used Rs 40 lakh out of their own pocket to fund this initiative. The only companion they had all these years is their Fiat Palio which is known as the “Pothole Ambulance” locally.
Fiat Palio “Pothole Ambulance”
In the video, the couple is seen putting the tools required to clear and fill the pothole in the Palio. After recognizing the location, they leave with the raw material. They don’t hire people to do this job but rather get their own hands dirty and start filling out the potholes. As we are all aware, potholes and poor road conditions lead to numerous road accidents in India. This is a recurring problem in India, especially during the rainy season. But that doesn’t seem to stop this couple. The sturdy build quality of the Fiat Palio is also a major contributor enabling the couple to achieve this impressive feat. This has earned him the nickname of “Road Doctor”.
Back in the day, the Fiat Palio used to come with 1.1-litre petrol and 1.3-litre multijet diesel engines. The petrol unit was good for 57 hp and 92 Nm and the diesel engine made 75 hp and 184 Nm of peak power and torque respectively. The transmission duties were carried by the 5-speed manual gearbox. This model was on sale from 2007 to 2011 and retailed at around Rs 3.50 lakh to Rs 4.90 lakh, ex-showroom. The fact that this hatchback has stuck with the couple for so long does tell us a lot about the build and quality of a Fiat product.