by Richard Lasrado
Pics by Violet Pereira
Mangalore: Most of the citizens complain about the traffic congestion, lack of parking space, difficulty for pedestrians in crossing the roads, absence of footpaths and the like. Not many seem to be giving a thought to what causes all this mess.
A opinion survey made amongst well-intentioned and public-spirited citizens shows a clear inclination for a change.
At the root of all the problems seems to be the clustered presence of too many government offices in the heart of the city. The deputy commissioner's office, regional transport office (RTO), taluk panchayat, police commissioner's office, IGP's office, Nehru maidan and many other facilities are all crammed into a radius of less than a kilometre.
To make matters much worse, the regional transport office itself is visited, according to an official count, by over 500 vehicles. Most of them are from the heavy transport sector, solely for the ritual of so-called 'brake inspection' every day, leave alone those of visitors coming there for licences and permits.
(In passing, mention can be made of the pressure added by the haphazard and unimaginative real estate development in restricted places like Pandeshwar, Car Street, Old Kent Road, Balmatta, Arya Samaj Road, Kodialbail and other points.)
Where to move?
This has put extreme pressure on the network of roads around Hampankatta, State Bank bus terminus and all adjacent points. If a plan now mooted by Mangalore south MLA and deputy speaker of assembly Nandavar Yogish Bhat materializes, much of the congestion could be eased, for sure.
Possibly inspired by the Rajatadri complex housing the offices of the Udupi DC and other departments near the End Point in Manipal, a comprehensive, all-in-one DC office complex is being planned for Mangalore. When Bhat mooted the subject during a discussion with chief minister Sadananda Gowda about two months ago, the CM responded immediately and asked Bhat to identify the land for it.
Various sites were shortlisted. Now a vacant land measuring 9 acres at Bangrakulur, earmarked for a crickt stadium twelve years ago, has been finally identified. A modern cricket stadium would need at least 30 acres of land and in any case the stadium is not likely to come up there. Hence, instead, the DC office complex would come up at the site.
A Rs 30-crore plan has been prepared. Although the inspiration has been derived from Rajatadri, the proposed complex in Mangalore will have its own design and infrastructure. The presence of the DK zilla panchayat complex at Urwa Stores within a reach of about 2 kilometres would be an added advantage.
If all goes well, the new complex should be ready within eighteen months, says Bhat.
Pulse of the people
Citizens came up with interesting responses, comments and suggestions:
"If the RTO office and DC office are moved, about 75% congestion will be relieved," felt a bank official.
"The old building of the DC office is a heritage piece from the British times. It should be restored and preserved as a historical museum, since Mangalore has played a big role during the time of the Portugese, Tipu Sultan and the British rule," said a historian, a Ph D scholar.
"The University College should also be shifted from here and the building should be restored and preserved as a regional heritage centre and museum," another academic said.
"If the DC office moves from here, what will happen to our own Hyde Park - the Hamilton circle - where protests are held? I am told that in the new DC office complex in Manipal, a provision has been made to allow protests. If the complex comes up in Bangrakulur, protesters may have to gather there. That could mean lesser crowds," said a businessman from the State Bank vicinity.
But the comment that really took the cake came for a senior citizen, who has been leading a retired life after a long service in the Union government.
"With all the offices having moved out, what will be left within the city? It will be a big relief, I agree. The central bus terminus would move to Pumpwell. The movement of buses will be sparser within the city and the patients in the Wenlock and Lady Goschen hospitals could have better rest and more peace of mind. But the big question is, with so much of business and money at stake, will the business lobby and the real estate lobby ever allow the shifting of all the offices from here? They could move heaven and earth to scuttle such a plan."
Come to think of it, we never thought of that.
Richard Lasrado: Author's Archives - selections:
- Why Not a Mangalorean as Indian Idol? So, Hail Ahmed into the Race!
- Mangalore: Call This Luck? Yeah! It's a 'Dam' Good Idea!
- Udupi: 'Marali Mannige' - Dr Shivarama Karanth's Heritage Home Goes back to Dust...
- Bangalore: Sing 'Tu-ru-ru-ru', It's Gonna be Bengaluru, Mangaluru...
- Mangalore: Vijaynath Shetty, Dhanraj Pillay Concur on Need of a Hockey Academy in City
- Mangalore: Comprehensive Directory of DK, Udupi Districts' PINcodes Released
- Mangalore: John Abraham Mobbed - Female Fans Bite His Hand, Get Slapped
- Moodbidri: No Take-home Pay? That's an 'Aadhar' for Take-home Laptops!
- Field Marshal K M Cariappa - an Officer and a Gentleman
- Mangalore: Kodava Students Salute Field Marshal Cariappa on Birth Anniversary
- Mysore: Reshma's Killing over Dowry - Just Another Addititon to Statistics?
- Dr Michael Lobo - a Genius of a Genealogist
- Mangalore: Vijay Diwas - a Day of Commemoration, Sentiments and Gratitude
- Sullia: Child Labour or Child's Play - It's Just the Way You Look at It!
- Mangalore: Former Servicemen to Observe 'Vijay Divas' on Dec 16 in Honour of Martyrs
- "Promoting Welfare of People is Part of Dharma....." - Dr Heggade to Richard Lasrado
- Dharmasthala: Town Literally Lit up with a Hundred Thousand Lamps
- Bantwal: Message on Dowry - a Sign of the Times or a Writing on the Wall?
- Mangalore: This Chirpy, Perky Leopard Cub is Everyone's Darling at Pilikula!
- Mangalore: Prof Nagaraja Javali of Intellectual Quartet 'Dasajana' Fame Passes away
- Dharmasthala: Town Literally Lit up with a Hundred Thousand Lamps
- Udupi: The Most Unkindest Cut - Client Assaulted for Visiting a Rival Barber Shop!
- Mangalorean Anna Rego Represents AIESEC Manipal at Prague Conference
- Mangalore: Anviya D'Sa of Shankerpura Stands First in 'Raknno' Photo Contest
- Mysore: Shyam's 'Charming' Record of Catching over 25,000 Snakes!
- Madikeri: Grand Old Man Aiyamma Has a Date with Longevity on 11-11-11
- Madikeri: Will Abhimanyu be Able to Trap the Tigress in His Chakravyuha?
- Mangalore: All Souls' Day - a Time to Remember the Dear Departed
- Kushalnagar: Pachyderms Have a 'Jumbo' Time 'Trumpeting' Their Skills...
- Mysore: Reaching out to the Needy - A Lesson for Mankind from Animals
- Madikeri: AIR's Abdul Rasheed to Take Part in Interational Radio Conference
- Bangalore: Kannada Actor Prashant Does a 'Darshan', Caught by Wife, Escapes
- Udupi: Yatri Sangh's Blueprint for Better Connectivity Aims at Journey on New 'Track'
- Udupi: Oh Dear! 'Nandini' to Milk Us Dry Again with a Hike
- Karwar: Chitrapur Saraswats Feel Honoured by Issuance of Commemorative Stamp
- Moodbidri: Dr Mohan Alva Gets 'Make-over' as Senior with Make-up!
- Beltangady: 'Miss You Dad!' - College Girl Ends Life 10 Years after Losing Father
- Puttur: Memory of 9/11 Victim Hemanth Perpetuated with Benevolent Deeds
- Bangalore: The Ugly Darshan of 'Double-role' Characters out in the Open
- Mangalore: Ek 'Raja', Ek 'Rani' - Aur Unki 'Grim' Kahani...
- Bantwal: For Sarvottam Bhandarkar, the Hallmark is Always Excel-'lens'!
- 'Mangalore's Got Talent' - Vote for Our Own Kuddroli Ganesh, September 3 Night on...
- Mangalore: Dr Shashikala Gurpur - the Genial Genius
- Mangalore: Sick of Corruption? Vent Your Anger Here on This Effigy!
- New Delhi: Naked Nonsense - Salina Wali Khan Will Strip if Jan Lokpal Bill Not Passed
- Mangalore: With 'Breath' Taken away, No 'Cheers' for 32 Men on Weekend Outings!
- Puttur: Polishing the Gold and Washing the Brains - a 'Shining' Example of Trickery!
- Karkala: Knowing One's Onions and Looting the Shops...
- Mangalore: Season's Special - Aashadha Amavasya and the Sap of Life
- Mangalore: When Birds are Stolen, Will the Guardian be Left behind?
- Bantwal: Life with a Radio, Three Dogs and a Job of Mending Umbrellas...
- Mangalore: Toll Gate Issue - Bantwal Journos Think and Act Differently on 'Press Day'
- Udupi: H B Prabhakar Shastry Appointed Supreme Court Registrar
- Kasaragod: Tulu Reverberates in Manjeshwar MLA's Speech in Kerala Assembly !
- Mangalore: Giselle Mehta - When an Author Blossoms and Creativity Showers
- Manipal: Sudeep Sudhakar - Flying High to Conquer the Skies Down Under...
- Mangalore: Witchcraft Comes to City, at the 'Official' Level!
- Dharmasthala: It’s Plain Darshan, No Truth Test for BSY and HDK
- Mangalore: It's More Than One Could Chew - Husband Bites Wife's Finger off!
- Mangalore: Foreign Visitors, New Arrivals - It's All Happening at Pilikula
- Mangalore: Self-imposed Fishing Ban at Old Harbour Well ahead of Cut-off Date!
- Mangalore: Damage to Bus - KSRTC Slaps a Fine of Rs 10,000 on MESCOM!
- Karkala: Leopard 'Spotted' in Veranda of House in Bola!
- Bangalore: Sandalwood Glamdoll Daisy Bopanna Ties the Knot
- Bangalore: Government Blocks Cricket Outing, Employees Clean Bowled!
- Madikeri: 'Kunde Habba' of Devarapura - the Bizarre and the Burlesque
- Mangalore: Anti-polythene Campaign Pursued in Bangalore-bound Volvo Bus!
- Bangalore: New Raw Material for Alcohol - Can You 'Beet' That?
- Bangalore: Come June 29, a Quarter won't be Worth a Penny!
- Moodbidri: SNM Polytechnic Students Develop LPG-fired Bike
- Goa: Three-day Konkan Fruit Fest Draws Enthusiastic Crowds
- Madikeri: Kodagu Bids Tearful Farewell to Lt Col Vishrant Nanjappa
- Mangalore: Brave Fire-fighters at Plane-crash Site Get a Pittance of Rs 100 Each!
- Shedding Light on Shedding of Weight - Meet Dr Roshan Shetty
- Mangalore: Lady Goschen Hospital to Have New Rs 18-crore Building
- Bangalore's Name Derived from 'Bilekal Ooru', Not 'Benda Kaal Ooru'!
- Bangalore: Surviving the 'Punda Ka Funda' - a Real Test for Yeddy
- Mangalore: A Mother Gifted with Eight Children, Now Destitute
- Mangalore: Of Roadhogs, Death-traps and Brittle Life...
- Mangalore: Ancient Burial Rites - Something to Learn from the Urn
- Mangalore: The Price Paid for Development - Massacre of Mother Nature!
- Bangalore: Martyr Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan Remembered on Birthday
- Bangalore: Deepika Padukone - Siddharth Mallya Chemistry, What's the Issue?
- Mangalore: Newly-found Pillar Inscription Opens a New Page in History
- Mangalore: Looking for 'Bombay Blood' - Do You Have it in You?
- Mangalore: Beg Your Pardon ! Making a Neat Pile out of Others' Misery?
- Mangalore: Crying for Justice - the Bihari Couple Aches for their Slain Child
- Mangalore: Martyrdom Commemorated with Gratitude on 'Vijay Divas'
- Mangalore: The Aircrash and after... (Published on June 3, 2010)