‘Mother of Potholes’ Alake Road is Fit for ‘Motocross’ & Not for ‘Motorists’?
Mangaluru: Attention! Mayor “Lioness” Kavitha Sanil aka ‘Lady Singham’, we all know that you are daring and doing one heckuva of job in raiding illegal massage parlours, Skill Game centres operating illegally, shops doing business with no trade licence, etc etc- Good Job and compliments- but how about fixing the dilapidated roads with bunch of pot holes that appear at the same locations every year during monsoon time, and one being the Alake Road stretch. Dear Mayor, MCC Commissioner, area corporator, MCC officials and other Road Development Dept. officials-this report is for your kind perusal, and thereby act upon it and to kindly do the needful. Should any organisations or Sports club decide to host a motocross in the near future, a perfect location/stretch of road awaits you in the heart of City- namely the Alake Road/Kambla Cross Rd/Kudroli Temple Rd – whatever names are kept for this stretch of road?
But what makes people stop and stare at the numerous pot-holes with utter disbelief is the fact that this road is taken frequently by many city officials on their way to their offices, and also for the fact that these potholes keep appearing year-after-year and monsoon-after-monsoon. This makes someone to ask, “Why can’t they really fix the road with proper concrete and better materials, once and for all ?. This question to be answered and take action will probably take months, years or probably no one would ever bother about it. Even though concrete work was done on this road recently, but the bad portion where potholes appear every year was left unattended- and the motorists are bearing the brunt travelling on this stretch of the road.
I use this road few times of the week when there is a press meet at Mangalore Press Club-Urva. One of you may question me, why do I have to use Alake road to go to Urwa, when there are other alternative roads. Simple- I know I could avoid this road, but only for one reason- I need to have my coffee/snacks at my favourite restaurant “Usha Kiran”, although not a cozy and high-class eatery place, ever since my friend introduced this eating joint, I have been patronising it since then. I have to make a choice-either stop visiting this restaurant where I don’t have to use Alake Road or switch my daily commute o a different route.
But whatever it could be, it’s not just me who is facing all this consequences and safety hazards commuting on Alake Road, but there are hundreds/thousands of motorists who are still on the same boat like me. Some of the potholes on this stretch of road are like craters on the moon. While travelling in the bus, I bet the passengers have to desperately cling on to seat bars lest they fall off their seats. Incidentally, potholes are not the problems that have been troubling bus operators and commuters alike. Travel on this road after dusk and you would be forced to carry a torch, because of Mescomplaying hide-n-seek with power every now and then due to power shortage or bad weather. Many times at night this road is so dark, chances are that your vehicle could land into one of these potholes, and you could be fallen on the road, resulting in minor or major injuries. But does any of our civic officials give a damn about citizens safety- I don’t think so.
While they were reluctant to speak on the record, many bus drivers/auto-rickshaw drivers, even private vehicle owners complain that the severe potholes have seriously compromised the condition of their vehicles. “Due to the potholes and the uneven surface, many parts have been damaged. Most often, it is the suspension plate which is most affected. Each suspension plate costs Rs 1,500 or more, besides the garage charges. This amounts to a loss of one day’s income as the bus has to be left in the garage for repairs,” said a driver of a bus plying on that route.
It happens again and again and again. Heavy rains, heavy traffic and alternating periods of warm and cold have scarred local streets and the potholes pop up — and this has formed a worse-case scenario for repair crews who are struggling to find and fix all the emerging potholes. But are they doing the job right? I don’t think so. Throwing some loose stuff in a hole and just hoping the traffic driving over it will fix it, will not serve the purpose. The evidence now says otherwise. I think the only way to solve the current pothole mess is to lay a two-layered concrete road with a seal coat but the problem is, our authorities I bet are busy playing blame games.
Driving on Mangalore streets, and for that matter, even on outskirts of the City, is like an obstacle course. Drivers keep swerving and manoeuvring to make sure they miss every pothole. These potholes have also worsened the chronic traffic jams which Mangaloreans face every day, apart from driving through Alake Road, other potholed surfaces are some streets in Bunder area, Bendore-well, Bibi Alabi rd, Nanthoor Junction Rd etc etc. Anyone who has had the misfortune of commuting on these streets will testify what a great pain the ride is – literally – owing to the numerous potholes that punctuate the road. I bet a ride on this stretch is akin to a ride on a ‘ camel’s ‘ back- just bumpy!
Potholes aren’t 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 city crews should take quick action to fix the potholes before they get deep and worse — thereby avoiding severe driving hazards and vehicle damages. So, while waiting for these roads to be restored for a smooth ride, just brace yourself because it’s once again pothole season in Kudla. And for sure, the MCC authorities will not take any action, until a major accident or disaster happens on one of these potholes streets? Until then bear with the potholes or curse someone at the MCC— and still keep driving safe. And just avoid taking “Alake Road” if you can for now?