Mangaluru: The 10-day Mangaluru Dasara celebrations have already begun and people have started thronging the Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara temple. All education institutions have declared holidays so that the students can witness and partake in the grand celebrations.
While the roads leading up to the Gokarnanatheshwara temple have been decked up to welcome the public with banners and colourful lights, it is very sad to see that most of the roads are riddled with huge potholes.
Usually, efforts would have been taken by the district administration and the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) to repair both the main and interior roads, much ahead of the Dasara festivities. This year, however, it is evident that no such measures have been taken so far. Hence, most of the city roads are in a pathetic condition.
It is a known fact that the Mangaluru Dasara is celebrated with the same pomp and grandeur as the famous Mysuru Dasara. This is the reason why devotees and tourists from all over the country, visit the Kudroli temple during the Dasara festival. This time, however, the devotees and tourists will be forced to witness the as yet incomplete Pumpwell flyover, pathetic roads and an ample number of flex and banners (despite a ban being placed on such materials).
Shanadi Ajith Kumar Hegde, who recently assumed charge as the Commissioner of the MCC had issued a press release and informed that all flexes and banners would be removed during a special drive and permission would be provided to only for digital banners. However, most of the roads are seen bearing huge welcome banners and flexes and no special drive has been undertaken till date, as promised by the MCC Commissioner.
Social worker and activist Sowraj told Newskarnataka.com that, as the elected body of the MCC has no power, the corporators are not able to pressurise the officials to get the work done. “Some employees of the MCC call social activists like myself to pressurise the officials to take immediate measures to repair the roads. Despite our demands to repair some of the bad roads including Hoige Bazar Road, the MCC has not taken any measures to solve the issue," he lamented.
Devi Prasad, an autorickshaw driver from Kodikal says that those who come from outside to witness the Mangaluru Dasara praise the grandeur of the celebration, but criticise the pathetic conditions of the road. “Instead of placing flex, banners and colourful lights to welcome the devotees, concentration should be given to beautify our roads and the city. It is the only way to win the hearts of outsiders," he adds.
MCC Commissioner Hegde, when contacted, told Newskarnataka.com that though a special drive needs to be taken against flex and banners, the MCC will not go for it as it is likely to disturb the peace in the city right now. “It is not the right time to launch a special drive against such flex and banners as the people are currently celebrating the festival. The MCC will take strict measures to remove the flex and banners soon after the conclusion of the fest. After that, strict measures will be taken to switch to digital boards," he said.
Shanadi also informed that measures are already underway to repair the roads to be used by the Dasara procession. He added that repairs and the filling up of potholes will be undertaken on a priority basis.
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