Mangaluru: That’s Not Smart! Constructing New Roads without Footpaths/Drainage

Mangaluru: While Mangaluru is on the verge of becoming a “Smart City”, but at the moment it looks like there are not many “Smart” officials at the Mangaluru City Corporation who are not doing the city development work the right way-for example constructing new roads without a footpath/drainage- that’s absolutely not a “Smart” idea. Imagine constructing new roads and finishing them without any proper drainage or footpaths. And now that the DC has directed the City Officials to construct drainage/footpaths within a three months time, you can see that many streets in the city have been dug up-it’s a mess out there, and it has been a nightmare for motorists. Only if the concerned authorities or contractors had used their common sense to build footpaths/drainage during the road construction work in the beginning itself-there would have been no need of breaking the roads now to make way for footpaths/drainage.

Not only the roads are dig-all the mud, rocks, other debris dug out have been piled up on the road occupying half of the space, causing inconvenience to the motorists and pedestrians. It’s a pathetic scene out there, and one should be ashamed that a growing city like Mangaluru has to be in that kind of situation. Seems like it is in a state where nobody is taking responsibility and being held accountable with the result that having decent footpaths is of least importance. While pedestrians have been demanding even and continuous footpaths at least along main roads, nobody in the MCC have addressed the issue earlier- and now only after DC has directed that footpaths/drainage should be constructed soon, all our lazy MCC officials have woken up and trying to fix the problems.

It is sad to note that Major roads have not been cared to make pedestrian-friendly footpaths on the roadside. The prime importance on roads is for pedestrians but sadly in our culture, that is missing. Many of the streets have been mauled. The gradient of footpaths should facilitate easy and comfortable walking for the elderly and handicapped, but sadly our footpaths are broken at several points and never help the pedestrians, and many pedestrians are getting hurt due to dilapidated footpaths. This shows that that the PWD/MCC has shown utter callousness in constructing a perfect footpath.

Harried commuters in Mangaluru have been slowed down even further by the ongoing maintenance work on major roads across the city to make footpaths. With all the digging, piled up mud/debris etc etc it is very difficult for people/motorists to move around. It’s not just today. It has been going on for a long time now. Even businesses along such dug up roads have been affected by the road work. Naveen, who owns a business near Colaco Hospital-Bendore well said, “With all these dug up streets there is no parking space. People are not coming into my business. Will MCC reimburse my loses because of their negligence and non-smartness”.

The vision of the road project is long-term and aims to avoid repeated digging up of roads by different civic agencies. The hope is that the roads will not be dug up again for years as different agencies are meant to be coordinating to finish the laying of pipes and cables that are needed during the during this project. While it is testing the patience of commuters, the project does have its supporters. There should be a new design of roads which are called integrated roads…well-designed footpaths for pedestrians. But there are the delays in the project due to the “contractors not doing an optimal job” as also the lack of “close synchronisation in terms of various agencies in the government.

Hope this would be the last time they are digging the roads for footpaths/drainage or laying cable etc- let’s have footpaths, with no more road digging, just like foreign countries. Authorities claim that the city will soon have world-class roads but citizens can’t help wishing that they don’t have to suffer dug up roads

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