Team Mangalorean - Bantwal
Bantwal: Dakshina Kannada deputy commissioner Dr N S Channappa Gowda, in response to a public petition on the movement of heavy vehicles like buses and trucks on the old Panemangalore bridge, paid a visit to the place and made a spot study on Wednesday.
The bridge, built early in the 20th century during the British rule between Sunnadagoodu to Goodinabali, had undergone repairs several times, until a new parallel bridge was built about a decade ago. Since then, it is being used by the Panemangalore residents, cyclists, pedestrians and often by heavy vehicles to bypass the toll gate. Many of its beams and pipes have been pilfered by scrap and petty dealers.
A view of the old bridge from the new bridge (Pic courtesy - John Wilson Pinto)
Dr Gowda, after seeing its dilapidated state, issued spot orders banning movement of heavy traffic with immediate effect. He issued verbal order to the Bantwal municipal chief officer R V Jattanna to have gates put up at either end of the bridge to allow only pedestrians, light passenger vehicles and two-wheelers.
Dr Gowda said it was essential to preserve the old bridge and maintain it in good condition. The public brought to his notice that although the movement of buses had been banned many years ago, heavy vehicles still kept plying and the bridge was being used for even illegal sand transport.
Municipal president Dinesh Bhandary told the DC that the management of the bridge had been handed over by the highway authority to the local body, but without executing any repairs. Hence the municipal council had sought funds from the government for its repairs and is awaiting them, he said.