‘City Needs to be Developed for Citizens & NOT ONLY for Traffic’- DC at KCCI Interactive Meet

‘City Needs to be Developed for Citizens & NOT ONLY for Traffic’- DC at KCCI Interactive Meet

“Mangaluru City needs to be Developed for the people/citizens and NOT ONLY for Vehicles/Traffic” said Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada-S Sasikanth Senthil IAS, during a Interactive Meeting hosted by Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Thursday, 7 December at KCCI Hall-Mangaluru.

Mangaluru: Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) organized an Interactive Meeting with Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada-S Sasikanth Senthil IAS on Thursday, 7 December 2017 at 5 pm. The welcome address was delivered by Vathika Pai- President of KCCI, following which she read the contents of the memorandum containing certain issues and concerns pertaining to Mangaluru and DK. – and later she handed over the memorandum to the DC, for his suitable action on these civic issues.

Following is the contents of the Memorandum submitted to the DC:

“At the outset, we at the KCCI most cordially welcome you to Mangalore, the Port City of Karnataka, as the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada District and express our sincere gratitude to you for the time you have taken from your busy schedule to visit us and interact with us. Dakshina Kannada has been a business hub since time immemorial with Manufacturing, Tourism, IT and such other industries thriving here. Blessed with ample natural resources and a huge talent pool, we see a very bright future for Dakshina Kannada in the days to come, if we ensure these industries are supported by good infrastructure, connectivity, etc. thus leading to the growth of our district as a whole.

We submit the following for your kind consideration and are sure that you will take them up at the appropriate levels using your good offices, thus fulfilling the aspirations of the Trade, Commerce, Industry and the Citizens of our region.

Water Management:

– Every year, Mangalore city faces water shortage for nearly four months, between February and May. This situation during the last year was well managed due to timely intervention by the administration. The KCCI requests that water rationing schedule be fixed early and supply of water for construction etc. be controlled to ensure that adequate water supply is available for human and animal consumption.

– Water harvesting, Rain Water Harvesting in apartments, complexes and houses should be made compulsory for all the new constructions coming up in the city and the existing ones should also follow the same wherever possible. Auditing and Demarcation and protection of water bodies like lakes and freshwater streams are also required to be done as a priority.

Traffic Congestion:

– This is a concern which, with the city’s growth, is going to get far worse with time. All the plans to decongest the city centre, be it the flyover at Hampankatta, or shifting of the bus stand to the outskirts, construction of the ring roads are to be given serious consideration. The traffic congestion at Clock Tower, Balmatta and such other key areas cause time delays and inconvenience to all commuters. It is very necessary to chalk out concrete plans to decongest all these areas.

– With the growing number of vehicles on our roads, Multi-Level parking at prominent locations is the need of the hour to prevent all parking issues. Also, with the advent of the malls in Mangaluru, all our local traders are losing out on business due to parking issues at their locations. MLPs will go a long way in ensuring these businesses become accessible.

– Traffic congestion at Nantoor and Pumpwell junction need urgent attention as there is hardly a day which goes by without some minor accident taking place. We understand that construction of a flyover on the NH -66 at Nanthoor Junction is in the pipeline and the work going on at the Pumpwell Junction flyover needs to be expedited. We request your intervention to ensure better co-ordination between NHAI / State Govt. and the local authorities including the Traffic police, City corporation, MESCOM etc., in these and all other infrastructure projects of the district so that they can be expedited to prevent inconvenience to the citizens.

– As you are aware, all vehicle dealers are required to take their new vehicles physically to the RTO office for Inspection during registration. With the growth of automobile trade, in the current scenario, all dealers put together bring about 400 + vehicles to the RTO Office leading to traffic congestions, thus causing inconvenience to the general public. Also, the dealers need manpower to drive the vehicles to the RTO office every day, thus, wasting many working man-hours, in addition to wastage of fuel for all the vehicles being driven down for inspection.

Many states in India have already introduced Online Registration of Vehicles where the dealers are authorized to do the registration from their office itself. On behalf of all the Automobile Dealers of our region, we have given our representation to the State Transport Ministry and the Transport Commissioner requesting to implement On-Line Registration of New Vehicles in Karnataka. We request you sir, to kindly coordinate with Authorities concerned to make Online Registration of Vehicles a reality. This would go a long way in easing traffic congestion near the RTO Office.

Promote Tourism:

The district of Dakshina Kannada is unique as it caters to all forms of Tourism. Be it Eco-Tourism, Beach Tourism, Religious Tourism, we have everything to meet the varied interests of tourists. In this regard, we, at KCCI, would like to bring to your kind notice some suggestions that would help in promoting Tourism in our district in a big way. Creating and marketing our region as a brand is the need of the hour.

Under your able administration, KCCI is glad that many projects such as Development of our beaches, Scuba Diving, Health Tourism, Homestays, etc. are in the pipeline and are taking shape well. However, setting up of a separate Karavali Tourism Development Authority under the District Administration which could approve, execute and monitor similar Tourism Projects in the future would help in developing and showcasing the uniqueness of our Karavali region in a faster manner.

This would also help the overall economy of our region to grow by providing business opportunities to Hotels, Shops, Restaurants etc. along with providing employment and income to the people of this region.

Mangaluru is gaining popularity as a destination for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) Tourism, especially for national level events and conferences such as Doctors Conferences. In order to meet the growing demand for the same, the Authorities could facilitate the setting up of additional hotels and resorts of star categories, along with event and exhibition centres to support MICE Tourism in the District.

A Tourist information centre in the heart of the city will be of great help to thousands of foreign and medical tourists coming to Mangaluru. It could have Currency Exchange, booking counters for taxis, food courts, travel advisors, etc.

Taxi / Auto/ Bus Drivers are the first points of contact for all, be it cruise, pilgrim or medical tourists coming into the city and are more like ambassadors for our region. Organizing training programs (on behavior/traffic rules) to Taxi / Auto / Bus drivers would go a long way in giving a better look to our city. Private businesses and groups could support the same.

Promote IT:

With 120 plus start-ups and a huge pool of talent being produced in the District annually, Dakshina Kannada can easily be showcased and promoted as the next IT destination after Bengaluru. However, it is very necessary to encourage/support 3-4 big IT companies to set up offices in Mangaluru which will open up employment opportunities for thousands of Engineers and Graduates passing out of our colleges every year and this will also ensure our talent pool is retained here.

City Infrastructure:

-Approach roads to the Mangalore Central and Mangalore Junction railway stations to be improvised with adequate parking facilities.

-Attention needs to be paid to construction and widening of footpaths just like roads. Wherever road widening and concretization takes place, footpaths have to be constructed immediately.

Mangalore International Airport:

– The Extension of the Runway of Mangalore International Airport from 2450 mtrs to 3050 mtrs has been a long-standing demand of the KCCI. This will enable wide-bodied aircrafts to fly into Mangalore which is not the case now and will also give a boost to IT, Tourism and other industries of this region.

– KCCI has received positive responses from several International Airlines to start their flight operations to Mangalore. However, the absence of bilateral agreement / bilateral air traffic rights is preventing them from starting the same. We request you to represent to the authorities concerned on both the above-mentioned issues.

– The Approach road to the Airport needs to be doubled as it has to cater to the increasing traffic of passengers flying in and out of Mangalore.

Karnataka Maritime Board:

The setting up of a Karnataka Maritime Board has been a long-standing demand of the Chamber.

Railways:

– Upgradation of Mangalore Railway Stations to International level has been a long pending request of the railway users of Dakshina Kannada and this will give a boost to the economy of this region.

– The Mangalore Junction Railway Station at Kankanady lacks basic infrastructure. The LED Boards displaying the coach numbers are not working. The Information Centre is not well manned round the clock. Eateries are also not functioning properly. Roofing and proper seating arrangements are missing at Platform No. 2 and 3. A single overbridge which is also quite old now causes inconvenience to senior citizens. Having Escalators would definitely solve the issue. We request you to kindly look into these basic infrastructural issues at the Mangalore Junction Railway Station for appropriate action.

– Doubling of our railway tracks especially from Mangalore Central to Nethravathi Bridge so as to avoid delays / cut down travel time to Mangalore would go a long way in reducing inconvenience to our citizens.

– Incoming trains to Mangalore Central Station are being detained at outer Mangalore for want of necessary clearance from the station. This causes a lot of inconvenience to the passengers due to time delays. We request you to look into the same and ease out the delay.

Developing the Industries of Our Region:

– The Phase 2 of Baikampady Industrial Area to be developed in the JESCO Land. Making smaller plots of 2 acres and 1 acre would help in supporting the growth of SMEs in our region. There is a huge demand for industrial lands at Baikampady because of the proximity to the port and the NH 66. There is a lot of demand for smaller plots from SMEs who are paying exorbitant rent, rendering their units unviable by putting a huge strain on their finances. Single window clearance facility to support new entrepreneurs could also be thought of.

– It is necessary to empower Single Window Agencies to implement all decisions taken at the Single Window Meetings such as Pollution Control Board approvals, sanctions from MESCOMs, land allotments from KIADB and KSSIDC, etc.

Smart City-Mangaluru:

– Mangaluru has made it to the Second List of Smart Cities and this is a Landmark event for our City. But we do not hear or see any development in its implementation. We request you to expedite the same so that our citizens are able to reap benefits from the project.

Sub – Regional Office of ESIC in Mangaluru:

– We understand that a proposal is being put forth for the closure of the Sub-regional Office of the ESIC at Mangaluru. We, at KCCI, strongly believe that closure of the SRO at Mangaluru will lead to hardships to the 5000 plus businesses and industries catered by ESIC in this region along with 2 lakh employees covered under ESI, belonging to not just Mangaluru, but also the nearby towns and villages.

– The presence of the Sub – Regional Office here in Mangaluru has ensured better administration, streamlining of operations, quick decision making as well as better accessibility and approachability for employees and employers, along with better coordination with the associated hospitals. This has also expedited the process of medical treatments and referrals to tie-up hospitals for advanced treatments.

– On closing of SRO at Mangaluru, Employers from our region will need to commute long distances to the Regional office, for attending personal hearings in connection with notices issued to them, determination of contribution, damages payable by them, etc. It will increase the cost of compliance and appeals for the employers as they will have to approach the Regional Office in Bangalore for the same, thus putting all the stakeholders in difficulty. Employees registered under ESI in our region will also have to wait for settlement of their benefit claims related to accidents, maternity, etc. for a long time. We appeal to you sir, to use your good office to retain the Sub-Regional Office of ESIC at Mangalore and relieve all the employers and employees of this region of future hardships, thus facilitating ease of doing business.

We trust that your good self would take up these issues seriously and do the needful at your best possible and enlighten us and the general public on the action that you initiate on these issues. KCCI wishes you a very successful and fruitful tenure of office as an esteemed Administrator of our prestigious Dakshina Kannada District.-

Yours sincerely,
Vathika Pai- President, KCCI

In response to some of the issues and concerns mentioned in the Memorandum, DC Senthil addressing the audience said, ” Regarding Water Management, citizens don’t have to worry because all arrangements and precautions have been made so that there is no shortage of water during summer time. But I suggest that people should opt for Rain Water Harvesting to conserve water, which would be very beneficial. Regarding Traffic Management there is a holistic approach- it was a not planned project in urban areas. all of a sudden the concerned authorities/department woke up and took up the Urban Planning development, which didn’t click well”.

“Only thing that we see lately is road development for vehicles/traffic, and not keeping in mind the safety of the pedestrians/citizens. Wide roads are constructed but without footpath/walkways for people. Development of roads should be also citizens friendly, and not only Traffic friendly. To promote good tourism we have all the ingredients to make a recipe out of it- but we are lacking proper planning and experts to develop and promote effective and proper tourism. Handling of tourism should not only be taken up by the government, even private sectors should be given a chance to promote and undertaken tourism”.

“Regarding Smart City development, it is slowly growing but not up to the mark. We need experts and more experienced and knowledgeable people to be at the helm of the Smart City project. Regarding railways, we need to implement Metro System, but at the same time, we should not destroy property belonging to heritage, monumental landmarks etc in case the project is taken up. Regarding expansion of the airport, I think they have some space available issues- I am not quite positive on this matter”, added DC.

Apart from the contents of the memorandum, the DC also stressed on other issues, where he said, “Regarding Solid Waste Management there are several issues. We dump garbage from one place to another, which will not solve this issue. Citizens should learn how to reduce garbage at the household level. Need to minimize the waste, and try to recycle as much as they can. Another issue of mine is to protect our coastal zone-they are very sensitive and need to be protected under CRZ. Also, Health and wellness are important- we should not always depend on doctors/hospitals, instead take care of our wellness by exercising, diet and healthy lifestyles, thereby reduce our trips to hospitals.”

“Also there is lots of unused land in the City and District, which could be converted and made proper use of it for development or infrastructure. I have gone through most of the civic issues in this memorandum, but I can’t assure you on the assurance of my tenure here-but as long as I am here I will do my best to solve most of these concerns and issues incorporated in the memorandum- I may not rectify them immediately, but they will be attended and solved sooner or later” concluded DC.

The DC answered many of the queries posed by the audience during the interactive session. P B Abdul Hameed-Vice president of KCCI introduced the DC, while Prashanth C G- Hon. Secretary of KCCI delivered the vote of thanks. Issac Vaz-treasurer of KCCI was also seated on the dais.

1 Comment

  1. Valid points. However, Mangalore is a screwed up city with no hope for any improvement for quality of life of its citizens. It was allowed to grow to obese proportions and it is then no brain teaser that it started to burst at its seams. Please revisit Mr Aravind Adiga’s article that appeared in the Time Magazine in 1997. Every word in that article was prophetic. I do not see any hope for Mangalore. People will end up buying one bucket of water for Rs100/ in summer in the next 2 decades. ‘Pukuli dekkere neerijji’ atil malpera neerijji meeyera neerijji will be the cry the future generation politicians will face. It will become the Bellary of South Karnataka. I feel sorry for our people of kydla. Alfie, do you hear?

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