The Killer Zone! Bendoorwell Junction Filled with Potholes is Getting from Bad to Worse, and Putting Motorists and Pedestrians’ Lives on RISK
Mangaluru: Despite the late monsoon and the coastal districts witnessing about 24% deficiency of rains, potholes and craters resurfaced at arterial roads and major junctions in the city, including Nanthoor where NH 75 and NH 66 intersect and Bendoorwell Circle. The fact that these locations sport potholes and craters every year expose the working of the agencies concerned, the Mangaluru City Corporation and the National Highways Authority of India. Other important junctions where potholes and craters have resurfaced include KPT Junction and Bikarnakatte Junction. Both the carriageways of NH 75 (towards and from B.C. Road) are filled with craters despite the NHAI undertaking re-asphalting work every summer.
“In our childhood days, there existed storm-water drains of about 4 feet wide on both sides of the highway and we played with paper boats. After the highway was widened, the stormwater drains disappeared thereby more stormwater acumen on the road itself. Whatever surface work NHAI does, goes into the drains (of course, non-existent), lamented a resident of Kankanady Pumpwell. A culvert connecting the drain from Padavu towards Pumpwell across NH 75 at the junction would have solved the issue, he felt. Whenever it rains, the water flows down on the carriageways endangering the lives of road users as well as pedestrians. The highway flanks, apparently acquired by the NHAI for service roads, appear to have been encroached.
Despite reports of the potholes highly nighted in Electronic and Print media, including Mangalorean.com which had published quite a few articles on these killer potholes, neither, the District Administration nor Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) have not addressed the recurring appearance of potholes and craters either at the Bendoorwell Circle or near Nanthoor Junction that too occur due to stagnation of rainwater. The road surface remains at a lower level to road shoulders impacting rainwater drainage while no proper shoulder drains appear present in the locality. MCC has for years been giving the excuse of the presence of major water pipelines beneath the road surface to address the annual pothole issue.
The Bendoorwell Circle/Junction filled with potholes is affecting smooth vehicular movements, the potholes and craters threaten the lives of motorists, particularly two-wheeler riders. Two-wheeler riders are dying trying to avoid these potholes, and according to shop owners near Bendoorwell Circle, every day a few two-wheeler riders lose balance, fall and get injured-but no one has taken any action to fix these craters/potholes, and the area looks like swimming Pool when it rains heavily. Since it was a sunny day today, with incessant downpours, this area will turn into a slushy and pathetic condition.
Not just this area near Bendoorwell Circle, the entire stretch from that junction till Collectors Gate B is ridden with potholes, broken interlocks deepened manholes etc, and driving and riding on this road is a nightmare, especially after dark. Chances are one of these days, motorists will injure themselves or face death, due to the negligence and carelessness of the concerned authorities, including MCC Commissioner, Mayor and others.
Mangaluru streets and for that matter, even on the 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 Mangalureans face every day. Potholes are not 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 gaping streets can also damage a car’s alignment and suspension system.
Now that the city crews have taken quick action to fix the potholes at both junctions, they have not done the job right. Two-wheelers are skidding on both these messy pothole junctions, now filled with loose concrete mix at one junction, and red mud at the other junction. Is this how our smart engineers and smart officials in Corporation attend to civic issues, and make it more problematic? This smart city sucks, putting people’s lives in danger. Period. Anyways, till they redo the fixing of potholes the right way, until then, bear with the potholes or curse someone at the MCC— and still keep driving and riding safely.