Bantwal: A hearty welcome to the district, honourable Union minister for road transport and highways Shri Nitin Jayram Gadkari-ji.
On Tuesday, December 15, you are scheduled to arrive in Kalladka, a small town of this taluk, to take part in the annual celebrations of a private school. Here’s wishing you a safe journey.
B C Road circle after repair and restoration
After landing at the Mangaluru international airport, you are likely to travel by road, maybe from the circuit house, to Kalladka in a sleek, airconditioned car. Almost the entire route of yours comes under the purview of your portfolio of national highways.
Hundreds of commuters travelling on the stretch of the highway between Mangaluru and Puttur day after day may look forward to sharing with you their experience of using this road, but may not have the time and opportunity of meeting you in person.
State of the highway between the Netravati bridge within a distance of about two kilometres
And this is meant to be a fervent appeal on their behalf. Please consider the plight of the common man travelling in ordinary vehicles.
As you pass by the highway, please throw a glance around and ask the officials of your department accompanying you to make a special note of the following points which are black spots on the ‘National Highway’ tag.
The dilapidated state of the highway between Padil junction and Kannur just outside the city, the Bantwal Cross Road junction outside Bantwal town, the stretch between the new Netravati bridge and Mandovi Motors near Panemangaluru, the Melkar junction and other spots cries for your attention. The state of affairs has been so for quite long.
The B C Road junction and the Melkar junction have seen slight improvement during the past two weeks. Hence more attention is needed in the other spots.
As one having had the credit of bringing about a revolution in laying new highways and flyovers during your tenure as the minister of public works in your home state of Maharashtra, you can ensure that this issue is immediately addressed.
Melkar junction in the process of widening
A panaromic view of Melkar junction after widening, with no jams seen
We indeed consider this as a god-given opportunity to bring the matter to your attention. As your return from Kalladka could be late in the night, you may not have a chance to see these ‘hotspots’ the second time. So please check them out on your way to the school event.
Mangaluru: As the minister in charge of ports, say informed sources at the New Mangaluru Port Trust, Gadkari is likely to pay a visit there during his stay in the city.
A friend closely associated with the port affairs for many years points at a jinx connected with NMPT. Call it a rare coincidence or whatever, many political leaders who visited the port in the past subsequently have lost power.
The late prime minister, Indira Gandhi had inaugurated the port in 1975. Not only was she defeated in the Lok Sabha elections that ensued after the lifting of the Emergency in 1977, her party too lost power to the Janata Party and its combine.
Others to lose power after visiting the port were Veerendra Patil, Vijayabhaskar Reddy, V V Giri, Shatrughan Sinha, Shripad Naik, G K Vasan, G S Dhillon and a few others. Now the question arises whether Gadkari would stay away because of this perceived jinx.
However, a highly-placed source in the Union ministry says that the New Mangaluru port is in the limelight in the backdrop of a plan to privatize some ports in the near future.
The Adani group is rumoured to be keenly interested in taking over the city’s port and hence importance is attached to Gadkari’s visit.
Watch this space.