Mangaluru: Monsoons are here and obviously the roads across the district look like puddles. Huge potholes on the roads are posing severe threats to road users. Commuters are now questioning the authorities that if traffic violations amount to hefty fines, who is paying for the lives of the people if they fall prey to the bad roads.
For 25-year-old graphic designer Sushmitha A, Thursday evening will be etched in her mind forever. The young lady was returning home from work when she fell off her two-wheeler and landed straight into a water-filled pothole near Capitanio school.
"I have all my vehicle documents in place and I never skip wearing my helmet. I promptly follow all the traffic rules. I met with a mishap and my only mistake was that I was plying on our city roads," says Sushmitha showing her swollen hands and feet. She says that onlookers who helped her too lost their calm stating that at least three motorists had met with accidents at the same spot over the last few days.
After the onset of the monsoon, most of the main and interior roads in Mangaluru city have been completely damaged resulting in such frequent accidents and traffic congestion in the city. The huge potholes have put commuters, especially the two-wheeler riders plying on the stretch at risk, as their vehicles often skid when they ride over the deep, slushy potholes.
Sources in Traffic police informed that they have submitted a list of suggestions to the Mangaluru City Corporation, which were expressed by the public in the phone-in programmes of the police. However, the MCC turned a blind eye upon all the suggestions made by the police department in connection with the infrastructure development. The `free left zones` of all junctions in the city is in pathetic condition and the MCC seems to ignore the suggestions made by the public.
The `free left zones` in almost all junctions of the city like PVS, Bunts Hostel, Jyothi, Hampankatta, Nanthoor, Kankanady are in a sorry state. Usually, vehicles which are moving in left direction need not wait for their turn in all junctions as there is `free left` available. However, it is very risky to take the turn at the `free left zone` in all circles due to uneven edges of the concrete road. In some places, concrete slabs have been left open. Hence, the smooth flow of the traffic is not possible, which causes traffic snarl especially during peak hours.
MCC Commissioner Mohammed Nazeer when contacted told Newskarnataka.com that MCC had taken up the filling of the potholes with concrete in July when there were a few dry spells but the heavy rains after that led to the roads being washed away. “Once the rains subside, we will once again undertake repair works. If there would be continuous rain, patchwork is not possible. However, we have already taken some temporary measures to fill such potholes “, he informed.
Social activist and Nagarika Hitharakshana Samithi president Hanumanth Kamath said that though the potholes filling works should be done before the onset of the monsoon, no such work was taken before the monsoon. “Despite the MCC having earmarked around Rs 4 crore for the repair works and filling potholes of the road, it has not been spent on all roads. Hence, after the heavy downpours small potholes have turned into huge caverns," he added.
Enough is enough!
Meanwhile, members of Phalguni Friends Marakada, who were fed up of seeing the frequent accidents that motorcyclists meet with on the airport roads stretch, decided to take the matter into their own hands. As many as 20 youths came out and started filling the potholes on Sunday.
Prasad Marakada (in charge of the group) told NewsKarnataka, "Someone fell from a bike in the night and was badly injured. A complaint was made about the roads but nothing was done. So we decided to fill the potholes ourselves."
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