Mallikatta Mega Circle-Engineer Wants it ‘BIGGER’, while Cops Want it ‘smaller’?

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Mallikatta Mega Circle-Engineer Wants it ‘BIGGER’, while Cops Want it ‘smaller’?

Mangaluru: If you look at the mega Mallikatta Circle, on Kadri Road in the City, many will agree with me that the Mangaluru City Corporation along with Er Dharmaraj of M/s Dharmaraj Associates, who is the contractor at the helm of this project, that this project is one of the biggest blunders in constructing such a MEGA CIRCLE which takes a lot of road space. Ask any auto-rickshaw driver, shop owners, motorists, citizens in that vicinity and who take that route- they will all say it’s dumb to have such a large circle, which is definitely not needed.

Take a shoddily engineered road and add to it a dollop of reckless motorists and a drizzle of pedestrians with no sense of self-preservation – and you have a recipe for disaster. With few thousands of new registrations of vehicles every day, traffic is already a titanic problem in this Coastal City- added to that what really makes a congestion more worse is due to the large unscientific circles/rotaries at various junctions. Due to poor planning while the new roads are constructed, there are cases where you can find mega circles at unwanted places, and on the other hand, there are no circles at all, where they are really needed. Not a “Smart” move for a “Smart City” like Mangaluru?

Team Mangalorean had earlier done various reports pertaining to this Mallikatta Circle, which is on the verge of becoming a Circle Cum Water Fountain, with a neighbouring builder sponsoring the project. This morning MCC Commissioner Mohammed Naseer, along with the Project Engineer/Contractor Er Dharmaraj, and few other MCC Officials had gathered at the Circle site, to discuss about the pros and cons of this Circle with the members from the Police Department namely- Hanumantharaya IPS DCP (Law & Order), Uma Prashanth DCP (Crime & Traffic), along with SI’s, Circle Inspectors and Traffic constables of Kadri East Traffic Police Station.

While the Engineer/MCC Commissioner and MCC Officials are very reluctant to alter any plans on the existing project, both the DCP’s are pressuring them to reduce the size of the Circle, since it is creating a lot of inconvenience for larger vehicles to make a turn around the circle-one reason for the fact, that one nearby property owner is not ready to give away portion of the property for expanding the road, and there is a stay order on it- and due to this all this hassles and frustrations between the motorists and civic body.

When MCC Commissioner Mohammed Nazeer asked the opinion from Yours Truly of Team Mangalorean, I strongly suggested that at least the last outer portion of the Circle could be sliced off, so that it would give little extra space for larger vehicles to make a smooth turn, rather than make it a bit inconvenience – and for that matter, a bunch of citizens gathered at the site, also suggested the same. Giving the example of Nanthoor Circle which was once “BIGGER” in size, and recently reduced to “smaller”, has been proven very positive for motorists to wade through the traffic at that junction-So why not implement the same plans here at Mallikatta Circle, for which the MCC Commissioner said that the committee will look into this issue soon, and come to a conclusion as to what changes would be made to the present Mallikatta Circle.

If one dissects and analyzes the humongous traffic woes of the city, what stares back is the extremely poor engineering and design of roads – a ready-made recipe for frequent traffic gridlocks, made worse by reckless driving and little regard for rules. The other big culprit behind frequent traffic bottleneck is the tendency of Mangaluru’s roads to suddenly narrow in. Road engineering actually branches out of civil engineering and involves planning, design, construction, and maintenance of all things that ensure smooth flow of traffic and safety of motorists as well as pedestrians.

This large circle at the Mallikatte junction surely creates a lot of obstructions for vehicular movement from three directions. This is an example of yet another absence of proper road engineering. While the city’s vehicle population is increasing at this maddening pace, and when there is no scope for road growth with the city’s road density restricted to certain size, and now with these large circles, the traffic situation will still get worse. In this scenario, the perennial problems posed by poor road engineering (which end up with roads being designed with bottlenecks) and lack of motoring skills make a deadly combination for a city that seems to be facing “certain death”. This is the main cause of traffic congestion, causing a chain reaction of gridlocks affecting adjoining areas too – a gridlock made worse by motorists blatantly flouting traffic rules.

And the bad part of this Mallikatta Circle {Now that the CCTV’s have been removed while reconstructing this Circle into a Water Fountain} is that most of the traffic, especially the private buses coming from Bendore side-towards Mallikatta and proceeding towards Kadri market don’t even come around the circle, instead make an easy and quick turn in order to avoid the circle. That’s a safety hazard, because motorists coming from Kadri side and going towards Mallikatta may end up in an accident when these bus drivers skip making a turn around the circle. First of all our Kudla roads are narrow, and with these mega circles, they are making it much worse, resulting in traffic congestion and accidents.

And also one more safety issue of this Mega Circle is that once when the Water Fountain Circle is complete, and when the water is sprayed into the air to a height, it will be a blind spot to see the traffic coming towards Malikkatta from City Hospital side. Have the engineers/contractor looked into this? Probably NOT! Even before this Mallikatta Circle is completely finished, already there has been a lot of confusion faced by motorists trying to make a turn around this complicated mega Circle. Absolutely not a “Smart” plan when the City is gearing up to be a “Smart City?”.

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