Mangaluru: On the day Sr Nirmala, aged 81-the successor to Mother Teresa died, members belonging to 40th Court Ward Development Committee remembering the good deeds and service done by Mother Teresa to the poor, downtrodden, lepers and the less-fortunate raised their voices by holding a protest near Milagres Church on Tuesday, 23 June evening demanding that the Mayor and corporators of Mangaluru City Corporation take a quick action in renaming the present “Falnir Road” after “Mother Teresa”.
It is learnt that on the eve of Christmas 2003, the then corporators of MCC had drafted a resolution that ‘Falnir Road’ (from Hampankatta Circle till Kankanady market) will be renamed as “Mother Teresa Road’, but as of now the resolution has not been implemented. It is also learnt that a resolution under the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act 1976, section 293 was passed by the state government on 26 February,2005 to rename Falnir Road as Mother Teresa Road, but MCC had simply ignored the government orders by keeping quite and doing nothing. As per this Act, MCC was suppose to install new sign boards with the new street name, at both the ends of the road.
Addressing the protesters, Secretary of the Committee-Sunil Kumar Bajal criticizing the mayor and the Councillors of MCC said, ” It’s shame that even after 12 years when the resolution was adopted to rename ‘Falnir Road’ after ‘Mother Teresa Road’ , and also government had given permission to rename this street, MCC has kept quite and ignored government’s approval. Secretary of the committee, Sunil Kumar Bajal addressing the protesters said, ” Even though the resolution was adopted 12 years ago, and also the state government had approved to rename ‘Falnir Road” after “Mother Teresa Road”, MCC Mayor and Councillors have simply kept quite and have not done a damn thing. They have ignored and shown no respect to Mother Teresa who has been closely associated with Mangaluru and had visited this city a couple of times. This woman has done great service in caring for the poor, downtrodden, lepers, and the less-fortunate, and to honor such person with a road in her name will be a befitting tribute. But the sad part is that our own people have ignored such a blessed soul”.
He further said, ” Falnir Road is such a busy road, but when it comes to the safety of the pedestrians, MCC has completely ignored and shown less caring, either to the motorists nor the pedestrians. Look at the portion of the collapse road on this stretch in front of Hotel Moti Mahal-chances are that pretty soon a vehicle or pedestrian may fall into this “death Trap”. There are no footpaths nor proper drainage–during heavy rains water is collected upto knee high at some parts of this street. In fact, this is a busy road with thousands of vehicles and pedestrians taking this road every single day- but the MCC has neglected towards the development of ‘Falnir Road’. MCC has shown no respect to Mother Teresa, by not renaming this road in her memory-that’s very sad”.
Committee chairman Vasudev Uchil, and activist Yogesh Jeppinamogaru also lashed out at the Mayor and the MCC officers for neglecting the development of Falnir road, and also for not renaming this road after Mother Teresa. They warned that the committee will intensify their protest, if the MCC fails to take action on this issue. Fr Valerian D’Souza- parish priest of Milagres Church who also spoke said, ” It is appropriate to rename this road after Mother Teresa, since she had very close touch with Mangaluru, and also has her missionary work here. Mother Teresa has done a lot towards the upliftment of poor and the needy- we should be grateful and appreciate her missionary work”.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com, Fr Valerian said, ” During the church council meeting held recently it was decided to install three new “Mother Teresa Road” sign boards, which would be erected between the road stretch from Hampankatta till Kankanady Market. Church funds will be used to cover the coast of these boards, while church council member Alwyn Rosario has agreed to bear the installing costs of the sign boards. I request the Mayor and the officials of MCC to finalize their decision on this matter soon, since we will go ahead and install the sign boards on 5 July 2015, also the feast day of Milagres Church.”
In the meantime, sources from MCC have revealed that no one had approached or reminded the Mayor Alfred Jacintha on this issue, and also MLA J R Lobo has also clarified that this protest is politically motivated and nothing else. Now that this issue has been highlighted, JR Lobo has assured that necessary action will be taken along with MCC officials.