Slow Pace of UGD Work Since a MONTH has Put Motorists & Students in Hardship near STS

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Slow Pace of Underground Drainage (UGD) Work Since a MONTH has Put Motorists & Students in Hardship near St Theresa’s School, Bendore, Mangaluru

Mangaluru: Have you noticed the traffic jam during the peak hours of 8 am-9 am or 4 pm-6 pm, and during school/college hours near St Agnes Institution-Bendore, St Theresa’s School-Bendur, Capitanio School- Nagori, Sharada Vidyalaya-Kodialbail, Gerosa School- Jeppu, Milagres College-Hampankatta, and many other institutions during the start and end of their school/college hours- it is very chaotic and stressful to motorists and commuters. With thousands of vehicles transporting over lakhs of children to and from school every morning and evening, areas around schools have become a traffic nightmare. Not just for motorists and pedestrians, but most importantly, for school-going children. Several schools in the city are in clusters and crowds at the gates, often hampers the flow of regular traffic, especially on busy roads.

The result: unmanned traffic, accidents, time wasted, traffic jams and huge risks to schoolchildren. The solution is to ease traffic congestion around schools during opening and closing hours.

Why is this important: It’s a growing problem that needs to be addressed, given that the number of vehicles is on a steady increase. Also, accidents involving school children are on the rise.

Who are the culprits: Parents in four and two-wheelers, auto-rickshaw drivers, maxi cabs, mini school buses, and private buses.

Throughout the academic year, the scene near these institutions is chaotic and until now there has been no action nor any solutions found to curb the traffic jam menace, which is putting commuters to work, and other engagements in inconveniences and hardships. And now that an Under Ground Drainage work has been taken up for a month in front of St Theresa’s School, Bendore has put the motorists and school children and their parents in hardship. The slow pace of work has made the situation even worse. The MCC nor the Engineer nor the contractor care about the inconveniences faced by the people. You can see hardly 3-4 people working on this project, thus delaying the work. Why wasn’t this project taken up when the school was closed during the pandemic?- is a question many ask. Only if people with common sense behind this project would have thought of putting more workers and making them work a few extra hours, this project would have been completed long back. Unfortunately, none of our district admin nor MCC officials care about the hardship people face and also their safety.

Even though a bunch of parents of the School are volunteering as Good Samaritans to control the traffic and peoples’ and children lives a little bit easier and safer, but still with arrogant and rash motorists trying to be smart and violating traffic rules, makes the lives of the school children risky. But these volunteers clad in bright coloured jackets are doing their best to control the traffic for the safety of the school children. Even a bevvy of school children as volunteers have also been helping students in reaching their classes safely, in this mess. Now that 90% of the work is complete, and the dug up part has to be concreted, it will probably take another few more days for complete restoration of the mess, and in the meantime, it will be once again traffic chaos and frustration until the whole situation is rectified. Also during the digging, the mud that was piled up near the school wall partially damaged the wall paintings done by the students. Oh well, did the workers care about it-I guess not!

When Team Mangalorean had done a report on a similar kind of traffic jam issue a few months ago, few of our readers had expressed their suggestions/points- like Radhika M S said, “Being a mother of three children- two girls attending school at St Agnes, and one son at St Theresa School, I get so frustrated every single day of the school, when I have to pick/drop my children at these two schools. This is a situation which needs to be addressed by the management soon- and I fully agree with Mr Alphy D’Souza, that the parking lots of the schools need to be used, at least during busy school hours. Hope there will be a solution for this menace soon”.

Naveen Bhandary said, “Traffic snarls during school timings not only at St Agnes, St Theresa school- even takes place at Capitanio H School; Gerosa HS, and many other schools in town- and even though they have enough space inside their school compound, they don’t allow vehicles to come in to drop or pick children- and that’s why we have traffic jams. But why can’t someone do something about this issue, which has been creating nightmares for motorists and the public?

A Parent of St. Theresa’s School said, “Parents are told to drop their children and move on and not to park their vehicles in front of the school in the mornings. But in spite of repeated requests vehicles are still parked and it is the same parents every time. Parents want to drop their children right in front of the school gate, instead, they can park some distance away. Unfortunately, St. Theresa’s school is located at a three road junction. If parents stop parking in front of the school gate, if vehicles coming from Kankanady avoid taking a u-turn, instead children are dropped/ picked up on the left side and vehicles proceed towards collectors gate back to Kankanady, the congestion can be reduced.

Naveen Kulal said, “One of the reasons for this mad traffic is that many of the parents take “extra” care by dropping off their kids in their own “big cars”. Imagine what happens when cars in tens and hundreds line up in front of the schools during peak hours? The parents should shun this attitude and teach their wards to use shared transport to school”.

The extreme congestion sparked off by the inflow and outflow of school vehicles unleashes virtual gridlocks on many City roads. Scurrying for clues to resolve this rising problem, many parents and citizens are asking school management to find parking for their vehicles within the campus. The city has hundreds of schools with thousands of students each, many of them situated in narrow by-lanes. The civic authority has an internal department to study traffic density and road networks and ensure that all proposed school buildings have ample parking inside their premises. Sources reveal that in spite of several schools having also written to traffic police, their complaints have not evoked an adequate response. Traffic cops, on their part, said they were making efforts. The problem is that several schools have their entrance right on arterial roads. During peak hours, multiple vehicles ferrying students cause snarls as they all assemble at one spot.

But looking at the City streets these days wouldn’t you pray that the roads stay clear with no traffic snarls/jams throughout the year. Various efforts made to solve traffic congestion have yielded few results. Traffic experts also say lack of lane discipline among motorists is another stumbling block to quick decongestion. The unbridled rise in vehicular numbers only adds to the mounting challenges. During morning and evening hours the traffic is hit. During evening hours, the presence of more vehicles completely blocks the movement of vehicles. The absence of traffic police personnel is also worsening the situation and reckless driving of private bus drivers cause uneasiness for commuters.

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