MCC Should Rename ‘NEW BALMATTA ROAD’ as ‘OLD-n-BAD BALMATTA ROAD?
Mangaluru: A so-called ‘SMART CITY’, however, mangaluru city corporation (MCC) has been ignoring Dilapidated Roads with Potholes, and one such road is “NEW BALMATTA ROAD” riddent with Craters like potholes, and motorists and residents are expressing woes driving, riding and walking on this disastrous dilapidated road. and while our local MLA, officials at MCC, including the Mayor, are on the spree renaming a bunch of roads and circles, here is a great opportunity for them to rename this treacherous ‘New Balmatta Road’ as ‘Old-n-Bad Balmatta Road”? This is the road going from Jyothi Circle/front of Govt women’s College joining Falnir road, near Avery Junction.
This report is for the kind perusal of the Area Ward corporator, MCC Mayor and Commissioner to take immediate steps in repairing this totally worn-out New Balmatta Road which is putting motorists, especially two-wheeler riders in hardship and risking their lives or getting injured. Ever since the road has been dug for laying UGD pipes, it has not been restored to its original shape. Added to that due to heavy rains, the road is ridden with crater size potholes, making it much worse. But has anyone from MCC or the area ward corporator, who got their post from residents voting, totally turned a blind eye for months?
While Kudla has been selected as one of “India’s Smart City’, looking at the dilapidated roads, are we really heading towards a ‘Smart City’? Just look at the pathetic condition of this road. How many times have our local MLA, MCC officials or other netas passed through this road? Have they taken any action by directing their friends at MCC to quickly resurface this dilapidated stretch of road which has been a nuisance to motorists, especially two-wheelers? I guess, absolutely NO! Just look at the pictures in this report, which will portray the poor work done by the workers while constructing this road. I bet a ride on this stretch is akin to a ride on a ‘ camel’s ‘ back- just bumpy!
Instead of fixing the bad roads first, our MCC officials are busy resurfacing inner lanes with brand-new interlock bricks. And in the meantime, are also renaming Circles and roads, trying to make quick bucks. But when it comes to fixing the bad roads they are slow and careless. As long as cheap quality tar is being used and layered too thinly, we will continue to have these problems every year. It’s an obvious pattern and I wonder why nobody is looking into this, or better yet, our city officials should visit other metropolitan cities in India or other countries and see how they are coping with this matter. Without any delay, MCC should undertake a major exercise to refurbish City’s potholes.
Driving on this dilapidated road is like an obstacle course. Drivers keep swerving and maneuvering to make sure they miss every pothole. Anyone who has had the misfortune of commuting on this street will testify what a great pain the ride is – literally – owing to the numerous potholes that punctuate the road. Potholes are not just a nuisance for drivers; they also constitute dangerous safety hazards that can produce substantial damage to vehicles, force drivers to veer suddenly in traffic, or even cause the driver to lose control of a vehicle after contact. The gaping streets can also damage a car’s alignment and suspension system.
Dr Shenoy of KMC-Jyothi who parks his vehicle in the parking lot adjacent to this potholed road speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “Just a few months ago I bought a new car, and since then driving on this dilapidated and potholed road has totally ruined the bottom part of my car. Recently I had to spend a few thousand to fix a damaged part under the car, which was due to the numerous potholes. Hope this exclusive report by Mangalorean.com will see good results soon”.
A 63-year-old senior citizen living in an apartment on this road said, “For the past few months I have never stepped out from my house for my daily morning and evening walk, fearing that I may slip and fall due to this bad road, filled with potholes. How can our corporator show such negligence to us when we voted him into power. Even our Mayor and other MCC officials have also turned a blind eye to this issue. Is this how they treat senior citizens by putting them into inconveniences? I only pray that this BAD road is turned into a GOOD road at the earliest”
Poor maintenance by road-owning agencies is the main reason behind potholes contributing to crashes and injuries. These are more dangerous for two-wheeler riders and passengers in three-wheelers, who are hardly protected. This has also exposed how such causes behind crashes and fatalities are largely neglected while preparing plans to improve road safety. Until road-owning agencies were held accountable for the maintenance and booked for negligence, the menace of potholes won’t end. We have hardly any cases of any action taken against such negligent officials/employees.
In conclusion, Potholes come as a surprise. Motorists are not able to cope with them. From a technical perspective, there is no dearth of knowledge or guidelines for road infrastructure to last for five to six years without any maintenance. It involves basic civil engineering. Instead of wasting time and energy trying to implement senseless restrictions, governments should focus on issues that are literally life-and-death for citizens. For accidents/injuries/deaths caused by potholes, governments must compensate the families of victims and hold contractors, government officials and ministers criminally liable for sub-standard roads.
There is huge corruption in the award of road contracts, and it’s time those responsible for (a) looting taxpayers’ money and (b) killing people were brought to book. Once repaired, a road has to last at least five to six years. If they don’t, the officers concerned should be penalized. Also, please remember that it’s those on two-wheelers who are at the greatest risk.
The city crews should take quick action to fix the potholes on this road before they get deeper and worse — thereby avoiding severe driving hazards and vehicle damage. And for sure, the MCC authorities will not take any action, until a major accident takes place, due to potholes. Until then bear with the potholes or curse someone at the MCC— and still keep driving safely. And to be on the safer side just avoid taking “the above-mentioned road” if you can, until it is repaired.