The Bajpe Road Misery is Over, Road Concreted
by Stany D’Souza, Bajpe
Mangaluru: “A Road to Misery in Bajpe – a Tale of Neglect and Politics,” an article written by me, was published in this website some time ago. Now, the misery seems to be over as this one-km mud road was recently concreted.
Now, there is considerable traffic as all the people around this place are using this road, which, as a vital link, has now been restored to a usable state.
On behalf of everyone using this road, my sincere thanks to www.mangalorean.com for publishing that article. It helped me to single-handedly pursue this tale of neglect and politics to a satisfactory conclusion. I also thank those, whom I petitioned and communicated with, for their understanding and for saving this public asset.
At the outset, I alone could not have done this. For about 30 years some public-spirited citizens had kept petitioning and appeals to the local panchayat and to the elected members to get this mud road, which has been in existence over the last 45 years, asphalted.
In spite of their efforts and our all-out support to them, not much had been accomplished in saving or developing this road. It was all because of some opposition and the callous attitude of the local administration and elected representatives.
The opposition to this road from some vested interests, even for basic repairs and improvements, was so powerful and continued for the last 30 years, that the base and sides of this mud road would be intentionally dug so as to cause damage and collapse.
The road would be made even sloppier by planting iron rods and willfully diverting compound water to this mud road. This resulted in the collapse of the sides and deep water passages being formed in the middle of the road, leading to some accidents.
The administration took no action and it seemed that the road was destined to be destroyed. Besides it not being in a motorable condition, it was even hazardous for people to walk on it sometimes.
These few wealthy and selfish persons did their best to deny this basic facility to others and stall any improvements to this road. Some other persons around behaved as if they would not be using this road and hence it did not matter to them at all!
Not deterred by all these developments and opposition, I approached the local elected members up to the Zilla panchayat level but their response and apathy made me realize my mistake of voting them to power in the elections.
Some said that there was “no road” while only one of them admitted that he had received my letter. At this stage, I was determined to save this public asset and in all my further communications to these representatives, I began to attach a copy of my aforementioned write-up every time.
There was no public demonstration…no bandh…no gherao of administration or elected members…no procession or support from the people around. In the face of opposition and even running the risk of personal enmity, I persisted in my efforts to save this vital facility and infrastructure.
It took me around two years of petitioning, waiting and appealing to the Zilla panchayat, the minister-in-charge of the district, state ministers, member of parliament, MLA and Karnataka Lokayukta.
I really do not know whether all my petitions were really taken note of. But I received two letters from the Zilla panchayat. One initially and another in response to the communication that I had with the Lokayukta, Bengaluru.
This road then appeared in the list of development and I was told that the local administration became aware of the existence of this road! I also learnt that the MLA had visited the spot.
It was a joyous moment and I was satisfied with myself when an earth-moving equipment came to this site to level this road in preparation for concreting.
It was really a sense of satisfaction and relief for me when an official met me and acknowledged my efforts, while also informing that their official records have only my petitions and communications.
The matter finally came to a happy end, the struggle has been rewarded now and the flow of traffic is going on smoothly.