OMG, Not So Soon? Another Speeding Mini Truck Damages the Just Replaced Steel Guard Erected Right In Front Of Century-Old Overhead Stone Bridge on Balmatta Bridge Road in the City. Just recently on 16 April 2020, a speeding mini-truck had damaged the Steel Guard, and after Mangalorean.com had recently highlighted the incident since it was not followed up after the accident due to lockdown- and due to website Impact, a new Steel Guard was replaced a couple of days back.
Mangaluru: If you go back and check into the history of this more than 100 years-old overhead bridge, which serves as a passage for two Catholic houses, one that of P J Saldanha & Family, and the other belonging to I J Rebello & Family, it has been hit and damaged by over-sized vehicles passing under it, for years. And later, such accidents were lessened after a protective steel guard was erected below, right in front of the over-head red stone historic bridge- and vehicles were careful in not entering the Balmatta Bridge road. Various reports on damage done to the stone bridge had been reported in the media, including Mangalorean.com in the past- but for a while, there had been no such incidents taking place, until recently in April 2020.
The Balmatta Bridge Road widening/development work was taken up under the Smart City projects by Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) a few months back, and it is in its final stages, with some minor work to be completed- the total budget of this road reconstruction, including ‘Bell Mouth’to facilitate the needs of Hotel Goldfinch, located right on this road, is around Rs 2 Crore, excluding the cost of the steel guard. The road had been raised about 10 inches high from its original level, and it could not be raised more, since a bunch of homes are located on this stretch of Balmatta Bridge road, and entering and exiting of vehicles of these homes would be a problem. The width of the road was extended to 5 meters from its original width. And the size of the steel guard was of 5.5 mts wide and 2.5 mts in height.
The last incident took place during morning hours of 16 April 2020, when a speeding modified Mahindra mini truck bearing reg no KA 19 AC 3110 without noticing the steel guard being erected while entering the stone bridge, hit the top part of the steel guard so hard, that the guard was bent and damaged, and also the force was so hard, even the concrete base of the steel guard came loose. And since the incident was not highlighted in media, Team Mangalorean took the initiative and published the details, and within few days, the action was taken by Er Arun Prabha-the General Manager of Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL), replacing with a new steel guard couple of days ago. (Ref: Not Again? Speeding Mini Truck Damages Steel Guard Erected on Balmatta Bridge Road )
But unfortunately, that didn’t last long, since today, Friday 29 May 2020, at around 9.30 pm, a speeding Mahindra Bolero modified mini truck bearing Reg No KA 19 AB 3881, and the driver due to negligence hit the steel guard so hard, the front top portion of the truck is damaged, and also lifted the steel guard from its base, loosen the bolts and nuts. The truck belonged to MKH Builders Wholesale Market, Kumpala Bypass- Thokkottu. As soon as the noise of the accident was heard by a member of the Saldanha family, he quickly ran to the spot, clicked a few photos and alerted the GM of MSCL about the incident- and Site Engineer (Technical) Ananth Shanker from MSCL was sent to the spot, to negotiate with the truck company owner, who was called to the spot by the driver.
With a mutual understanding between the owner of the Truck and MSCL, it was finalized that the Truck owner would fix the damages done to steel guard in the morning, and it was a happy ending for tonight- and the rest will be followed up in the morning. And just a piece of advice to MSCL, it would certainly help in preventing such incidents happening over and over again, if they install humps/speed-breakers on both sides of the road, few meters away from the steel guard. So all you motorists, especially four-wheelers stay away from Balmatta Bridge Road, at least until tomorrow afternoon, since the repair work will be carried on. Stay Alert while taking the Balmatta Bridge Road, till the road is ready for safe use!