State of Disrepair! Driving or Riding on Both the Miserable Kulur Bridges is a Nightmare
Mangaluru: It has been a long time since I had travelled on both sides of the Kulur Bridges on NH 66 across Phalguni River- unfortunately on Monday I did and to tell you frankly it was one of the most horrible rides to be on a two-wheeler and navigate through this miserable bridges, with tar peeled off at various spots, and both the bridges are in a state of disrepair. Vehicles plying through this bridge which is almost 40 meters in length need quite a time to achieve it! I wonder how much frustration and anger these riders and drivers have to endure, who travel on this stretch of both bridges daily to work or other engagements. With no other option, people are forced to live with it.
There are two parallel bridges across the river near New Mangalore Port Trust/MCF etc and they are in bad shape. And Kulur Bridge is a nightmare for motorists, especially during monsoon. People have anxious moments riding on the water-logged 150-metre stretch. The tar on the bridges’ surface hasbeen completely ripped off creating massive potholes, thus compelling the vehicles plying here to go at a snail’s pace. The highway department’s contractors have only worsened the situation by filling the potholes with powdered gravel. The powder has clumped together forming mounds and inflicting much trouble for two-wheelers and light vehicles.
On one hand, goods vehicles traverse this stretch fearing when their axle might give away while on the other hand, those traversing on luxury vehicles travel at a slow pace to prevent any damage to their vehicle and thereby end up paying heavily for its repair work. As a result, vehicles pile up on both sides of the road for a minimum distance of 2-3 km making crossing the bridge a real struggle. Though this is the situation every monsoon, no permanent solution has been provided yet. Though the retaining walls beneath the bridge have been washed off into the river, no repair work has been carried.
Avinand Achanahally from Mangaluru who travels on both bridges to his workplace, MCF speaking to Team Mangalorean siad, ” When complaints pour in due to the pathetic road surface of these bridges, the authorities will do some patchwork instead of taking steps to prevent water logging or making it more worse.. The problem would recur every monsoon. H.rid-time Motorists, and two-wheeler users, in particular, have anxious moments riding on this 150-metre bridge. The problem becomes acute when it rains. You cannot judge the depth of the potholes here. Especially two-wheeler riders have to be ready to be splashed by water if a bus overtakes them. The motorists have to drive through the slush accumulated on the bridge”.
A nearby shop owner near the bridge, who did not want to be named, said nothing was done to maintain the bridge. “Whenever we call officials about water-logging, they just drive through the portion without seeing the actual problem. The holes on the bridge meant for draining the water had remained clogged for a long time. Both sides of the stretch on these bridges are worn out, and for months no action has been taken by NHAI or other district authorities to rectify the hazardous situation. Enough has been said about the problems we face because of the bridges, however, nothing has been done. When it rains, water gets clogged on the bridge causing potholes.”
“The highway department must take action to fill the potholes. Though the tar was re-laid on the Kuloor Bridge, in a single rain it has been completely washed off. Though this problem repeats every year, the department only indulges in patchwork. They need to take action and provide a permanent solution,” appeals Ramesh Shetty, an auto-rickshaw driver.