NEW Concrete Road Dug near A.B. Shetty Circle for NEWTraffic Movement Plan as part of Smart City Development Project by Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL). One thing for sure, any work undertaken by MSCL or Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) has to be done TWICE, due to unscientific planning
Mangaluru: Once again I am back again with my Signature Caption “DIGGING NEVER STOPS IN THE CITY? “-and this time I am highlighting the digging of a portion of the road near A B Shetty Circle/near RTO, and looking at such unscientific planning and digging of roads, an educated person with common sense will surely question- “Are these engineers and concerned authorities in Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL) hooked on stupidity or what”? And the answer would be “Probably they are’!
A few months ago, the A.B. Shetty Circle was razed to facilitate one-way traffic from Clock Tower to Clock Tower in the Central Business District of the city. MSCL had also razed road medians along the stretch. It should be noted that the circle located at the junction of Maidan Road and Mangaladevi Road in the Central Business district was renovated in 2011 by Vijaya Bank and further beautified in 2016 by the same bank. Removal of the circle was a part of creating circular one-way traffic from Clock Tower to Clock Tower on Maidan Road via A.B. Shetty Circle, Hamilton Circle and Rao and Rao Circle as proposed by Mangalore Smart City Ltd. (MSCL).
When the razing of the Circle was in progress, Surendra Hegde, who was Vijaya Bank’s Regional Manager in Mangaluru in 2016 when the circle was further beautified, said he was pained to hear the news. With Vijaya Bank getting merged with Bank of Baroda, there appeared none to take care of the structure, he had said. Hegde said that the bank undertook the renovation of the circle in memory of its founding chairman. The then chairman wanted the damaged circle repaired to keep the banking spirit of the region alive and accordingly, the damaged structure was repaired, lights were installed and a sprinkler was provided for watering the lawn, he said. However, the circle was removed.
Social activist G. Hanumanth Kamath had also expressed regret over the razing of the circle and said the city has lost one of its prominent landmarks. The authorities concerned were implementing the one-way traffic system without consulting the general public. Even the Mangaluru City Corporation did not come to any conclusive decision on the proposal, he said. Quoting a senior MSCL official who reportedly had told him that the one-way traffic was being implemented on trial basis, Kamath had questioned the need for razing road medians and the circle for the trial of a new system. The roads were wide enough and there were no traffic jams in the locality. However, no one listened to Kamath’s woes, and the Circle was removed.
Now yet another social activist and a entrepreneur Bhaskar Kiran, who takes this stretch of the road daily, speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “The digging up the heavily and recently built concrete roads to add changes under smart city projects and facilitate traffic movement is turning into spending huge amount of taxpayers money. It would be better if the smart city decision-makers decide after taking into confidence the citizenry. How many times are they digging this road? Absolutely no sense”.
Other citizens have also raised their complaints that this new plan is making it hard for pedestrians to cross the road, and whatever plan is executed is totally unscientific and not well planned. Others have said that this plan has increased traffic during peak hours and not decreased, and with removal of medians has made it difficult for people to cross the road. Few other motorists have also raised the voice that with the new traffic diversion plan, it takes more time to travel to reach their destination, and also consumes more petrol when the gas price is increasing constantly. But MSCL is still going on with this project as per their plans, putting motorists and pedestrians in hardship, and wasting Smart City funds and taxpayers money!