Be Careful Commuters! Potholed NH 66 and 169A turns Death Trap for Motorists in Udupi District
Udupi: The Huge potholes on National Highway 66 after nonstop rain in the Udupi district have exposed the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) road development claims. Visitors to Udupi are welcomed by these pothole-ridden roads and overflowing drains.
The general public and daily commuters have alleged that the road has turned into a virtual death trap with huge potholes and craters. Using the road becomes, even more, riskier after rainfall, as the water gets filled in potholes leading to accidents. The condition of NH 66 and 169A and other state highways in Udupi is deplorable.
The NH 66 from Hejamadi to Shiroor has developed potholes and is causing inconvenience to the motorists. Those entering Udupi via Ambagilu have to travel through roads with huge potholes. When it rains heavily motorists are unable to assess the depth of the pothole-ridden roads filled with rainwater.
The condition of the main road passing near the Indrali Railway Bridge connecting Udupi-Manipal under National Highway 169A is pathetic. The road is full of potholes with highway work pending.
Several two-wheeler riders have met with accidents since they were not aware of the potholes. Recently a Mumbai – Mangalore private bus luckily escaped from a major accident due to a huge pothole in Kundapur. Huge potholes have emerged on the national highway but no permanent steps have been taken to fill them.
Recently when chief minister Basavaraj Bommai visited the Udupi district, the district administration and NHAI officials immediately filled the potholes using crusher powder. Unfortunately, the very next day huge potholes emerged again due to the rain.
When it rains, potholes are filled with water and motorists find it difficult to assess the depth of the potholes and end up meeting with accidents. The district has two toll plazas and collects tolls from motorists but does not maintain the roads. It is a pathetic experience for motorists who use this pothole-ridden road after paying the toll.
No maintenance has been taken up prior to the monsoon. It is a tragedy that neither the MP nor the local MLA is bothered about the pothole-ridden roads. The rainwater-filled potholes expose the two-wheeler riders to danger. While trying to avoid the potholes, they meet up with accidents.
Motorists have to deal with large potholes and slush in the monsoon. When vehicles pass by, the muddy water filled in the potholes gets splashed on the pedestrians.
People have expressed outrage over the indifferent attitude of the concerned authorities to fixing the potholes which are also creating traffic snarls
Social Media Post by Dr Kiran Acharya
Dr Kiran Acharya Son of former Home Minister Late Dr V S Acharya expressed his anguish on social media saying, “Just drove from Udupi to Mangalore and back. All those posting beautiful images of Bundelkhand highway, please look at NH66. There are countless barricades, potholes – some can swallow unsuspecting two-wheelers- dangerous water puddles…and many other road hazards- all on the tollway. Also realised, no point in tagging any official or politician – minister. We have been taken for granted”.
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The depth of the potholes cannot be assessed when it rains. You cannot even avoid the unevenness of the road, said Ashok Kumar, who commutes on his motorbike daily from Santhekatte to Udupi.
He also said that though the concerned authorities are filling up the road with gravel, it is getting washed away in one spell of rain. There is a need to take up asphalting of the damaged roads instead of patchwork.