Caution! Construction Materials Blocking Footpath in front of ‘City Square’ Complex, a Safety Hazard

Caution! Construction Materials Blocking Footpath in front of ‘City Square’ Complex (under construction) on MG/Lalbagh Road, a safety Hazard, which is just a few feet/stone’s throw distance from Mangaluru City Corporation Building?

Mangaluru: If Mangaluru City Corporation Commissioner Shanady Ajith Kumar Hegde along with other MCC officials, including Mangaluru North Traffic police department having registered a criminal case against the contractor who is building a two-storied commercial complex for former MLA Moideen Bava, in front of his house in Chokkabettu in Surathkal, where construction materials have been blocking the footpath, then how come the MCC officials have turned a blind eye towards a situation of the similar kind in front of “City Square’ commercial complex, under construction on MG/Lalbagh Road (opposite to Food Land Restaurant)- and this location is just a stone’s throw distance from MCC building?

It is learnt that after the case was registered, MLA Bava’s contractor had cleared the construction materials from the footpath. And if you look around the City in Mangaluru, you’ll notice at various building/residential/apartment construction sites, construction materials or debris is scattered on the footpath. In spite of several warnings issued by former MCC Commissioner Mohammed Nazeer to the building owners and contractors to clear any construction materials/debris on the footpath, there have been no changes.

If you look at the construction materials in front of ‘City Square’, it has taken quite a large space of public vehicles parking, and the building owner has placed two No Parking Signs, even though the space belongs to tax-paying citizens/public. And also that when the new footpath was constructed, they had skipped this portion in front of the upcoming commercial complex- and continued with the footpath on either side. Did anyone from MCC or Mangaluru Smart City Ltd had looked into this- or they just allowed it to go by, through hand-in-hand dealing. This stretch of the road which is used by morning walkers/joggers is posing safety hazard, due to the sharp building roads lying on the footpath, close to the road.

No doubt, construction material and debris blocking the footpath and/or making it hazardous to walk on the footpath, is a common sight. Such hazardous encroachment of public space is committed during the construction of residential houses, and large commercial complexes. Even after completion of construction, debris is left uncleared, and no municipal authority seems to have the will to take the offenders to task.

In the meantime, MCC Commissioner Shanady Ajith Kumar Hegde speaking to media had said, “As per the directives of the High Court, action has to be taken against those dumping construction materials on footpaths. Already MCC has issued paper notification warning action against those dumping construction materials on footpaths. MCC engineer will be directed to take action against those who neglect the warning”. Okay, well said by the MCC Commissioner, but the question now is- Has the concerned MCC engineer taken any action against those builders who are still violating the rules, including the one highlighted in this report.

And this report is for the kind attention of the concerned officials/engineers to take quick action on this issue, without any further delay. It’s true that one cause may be the ineffective implementation of rules regarding offsets of structures from the property boundary, or perhaps absence of adequate rules. It is desirable that approval for construction should be given only after vetting the plan for storage of construction material. In addition to the approval of building plans, there should be a requirement for approval of construction plans.

Presumably, there are procedures for approval of how construction power and water are to be drawn. Also included should be approval of the plan for storage of material in such a way that it does not impede or cause danger to, pedestrians. At least in the case of apartment buildings and large constructions, the builder should provide a covered walkway if the material is likely to fall on the footpath from above. But how many builders are adhering by these rules, except for a few reputed builders/promoters?

On a final note, Team Mangalorean with the help from members of MCC Civic Group will follow on this issue, with the MCC Commissioner, Police Commissioner Dr P S Harsha and other concerned officials, if no action is taken at the earliest.