Buddivantara Mangaluru? New Road Constructed with Electric Pole Left Standing in Middle of Road
Mangaluru: Buddivantara Mangaluru? If it is said that our Smart City Mangaluru is a city of intelligent and educated people, but not really when it comes to the people at the helm of various development projects that are being undertaken in the City. Right from the projects handled by Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL) and Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC), the majority of the projects completed or still on the verge of getting completed are Unplanned and Unscientific. New roads are done with no footpaths, new drainage is done with no starting or endpoint, and footpaths are broad at a few points and narrow at other points, among many others.
And here is yet another example showing how smart our engineers or contractors are when they undertake a project. Bringing to the notice of Team Mangalorean social activists G.K. Bhat and Nigel Albuquerque of the Mangalore Civic Group stated that an electricity pole has been left standing right in the middle of the newly constructed Maroli Pump House Road, on NH road and very near to Kankanady Pumpwell flyover. They said that completing a road and leaving behind an electric pole standing in the middle of that road does not make any sense at all, and sadly even the quality of the bitumen surface is not up to the standard, and with that condition, the road surface could wear out during the forthcoming monsoon rains.
It is learnt that a couple of weeks ago, Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) had replaced old sewers on Kankanady Pumpwell-Maroli Road with new ones, and had left this existing electricity pole in the middle of the road, not even bothering to shift it during the road work. As of now, even though the road work is complete, the pole remains intact much to the dismay of road users and residents.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean Ramesh, a resident of that area said that a five-foot-wide makeshift road existed before the sewer lines were changed. After MCC decided to build the retaining wall to the storm-water drain, additional space became available which was promptly used to lay a seven-ft-wide road. Now that a wide road is done, unfortunately, an electric pole stands right in the middle of the road, which is a safety hazard for the motorists, especially after dark. Also, they have used bitumen of cheap quality, which may not even withstand the treacherous monsoon. I only hope that media, like Mangalorean.com, highlight this issue so that necessary action is taken by the concerned officials before the situation turns worse”.
Sources reveal that while KUIDFC Deputy Project Director Manjunath has blamed the contractor for the unscientific work, Mangaluru City Corporation Commissioner Akshy Sridhar after this civic issue was brought to his notice has assured that he will ensure that the electricity pole is shifted to the road flank at the earliest, within a day or two. After inspecting the shabby road work, KUIDFC Deputy Project Director Manjunath, speaking to the media said, “Even though the work was taken up by KBR Constructions which is a reputed contractor, however, they have failed miserably in completing this project by not doing the work properly. The road work was not in the sanctioned package, but we were obliged to build the road at the request of the local MLA Vedavyas Kamath”.
It is learnt that Manjunath who was accompanied by executive engineer Ravi, who is overseeing the project, and a representative of the contractor, has assured to get the pole shifted within a day. He added saying “In fact, there is a standing request to MESCOM to shift poles that come in the way of road-widening projects, with a promise to bear the costs, and shifting work does not need enormous funds”. And regarding the quality of the bitumen surface, the officials have agreed to re-lay it, after necessary inspections are done. They have also put the blame on the operators of the Earth-Movers (JCB) where the chain-linked wheels of these heavy machines used during the construction work of the retaining wall for an adjacent storm-water drain, resulted in causing damage to the road surface.
In conclusion, even though this issue has been highlighted now if you go around the City, where new roads have been constructed, care has not been taken to shift the electric poles to the road flank, instead have been left at their existing spots. Simply does not make any sense! Also, the standard of the work is unsatisfactory, including the quality of the required construction materials used, also bitumen.