Unplanned & Slow! Snail’s Pace of Drainage Work on Balmatta Road Creating Inconveniences

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Unplanned & Slow! Snail’s Pace of Drainage/Construction Work on Balmatta Road from Collectors Gaste till Dr Ambedkar/Jyothi Circle Creating INCONVENIENCES and HARDSHIPS for Business Owners and Commuters- and also putting pedestrians’ lives on RISK, for TWO MONTHS

Mangaluru: One thing for sure, that you’ll all agree with me is that-Digging of roads/streets/bye-lanes/footpaths will never stop in Mangaluru no matter what- and we have seen it in the past and will see it in future too. Mescom, There is no end to this- and once they dig, and after their work is done, they leave the dug-up area in a shabby condition. And no action is taken against them, either by the MCC or District Administration. And once the work is started it will take months to complete, even though the project could be completed within weeks. And that is the working standards of Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL) or Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC), and the authorities give a damn if the people or businesses are facing the brunt of it.

For a City which has been selected as one of the “Smart Cities” of India, it seems like we are lacking “Smart People”, right from MCC Officials, Engineers, Contractors, and other District authorities who are simply wasting taxpayers hard earned money on projects, which once completed have to be re-done or new roads have to be dug up to lay drainage or construct new manholes or address some water problems. And here is a project of Construction/Drainage work on the stretch from Collectors Gaste till Dr Ambedkar/Jyothi Circle (Balmatta Road) which started nearly two months ago, and is still lagging in completion. Meantime, the pedestrians and motorists who frequently use this busy stretch of road are a nightmare, where they have to risk their lives due to the incomplete and unattended shabby work.

A couple of days ago an elderly lady coming out of an eye clinic in the Oberle Towers near MACO petrol Bunk on Balmatta road, lost balance and was about to slip into an uncovered pit, but luckily she escaped with minor bruises after someone caught hold of her before she fell into the pit. Last night a customer after his dinner at the Urban House Fine Dining restaurant, Collectors Gate junction was walking down the steps, tripped over due to an uncovered drainage spot, and got injured on his arms. Incidents like these happen daily, and since no one complains the authorities and the engineers/contractors remain silent and turn a blind eye to such life-threatening incidents.

A project which was started nearly two months ago does not look like it will be completed soon. This proves how careless and unplanned are the engineers, contractors etc when they take up a project. Tax payer’s money is wasted every time such stupid and unplanned work has been carried on either by the MCC or MSCL or district administration. When such projects are taken up which cause inconveniences to commuters, motorists and the general public, the concerned authorities should speed up the work, and not at a snail’s pace, just like this work, which has been a nightmare and a safety hazard for the public and motorists.

Snail’s pace of work on drainage construction on this project has subjected the commuters to inconvenience. The work on the project is being carried out slowly and easily by the labourers. A spot visit to the area revealed that on average, the labourers work not many hours to complete the project at the earliest. Locals and its adjoining areas-based business units have raised their serious concerns over the slow pace of work. “We are not satisfied with the pace of work. We have already asked authorities to expedite the work and complete it in the shortest possible time. There must be a double shift of the work to ensure that the project is completed at the earliest. Its execution has caused immense hardships to locals and commuters,” said a medical shop owner.

Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Sunil Shetty, General Manager at Urban House Fine Dine said, ” When they started digging right in front of our restaurant entrance, they said that the work will be completed within 10-15 days, and it has been over two months that the work is still not completed putting our business in loss of revenue. Our front parking area has been dug and even the surrounding area near our restaurant entrance has been left behind with dug-up pits with no safety signs or barricading. In the last two months, we have lost too many customers due to this treacherous work area, who are hesitant to visit our place fearing risk. I think it is not right on the part of the authorities to put us in such a hectic situation when we are prompt in paying the necessary taxes etc, and now making us face the brunt of this unbelievable situation”

” The authorities have not been taking any action to fill the dug-out space outside the Urban House Fine Dine. This has caused a lot of inconvenience to us. During our recent visit, one of our friends almost slipped into the ditch. I request the authorities to quickly take up some action and stop further unfortunate events from happening. They need to barricade the area and put up some warning signs. This is extremely callous behaviour on the part of the corporation or MSCL, whoever is undertaking this project” said Ms Laxmi Shenoy, a Food Blogger.

A resident who lives very close to this construction site speaking to Team Mangalorean.com said, ” I have no idea what kind of planning has been done regarding this project. Why can’t the engineers or the contractors use their common sense before they start the work? This project will go a long way before it is completed- and the commuters have to bear the brunt of it. Too sad that a “smart City” is progressing in such a careless way of planning”. Even the staff at MACO petrol bunk are saying that they have seen a decrease in customers due to the treacherous surrounding of the petrol bunk- and that many two-wheelers skid on the rough jelly stones covered path

Well, said by the residents and commuters- but it seems like no one cares about it. This education hub is now like a middle-aged bachelor, with the government and MCC trying to dress him up with all sorts of cosmetics while the vital aspects are being sidelined. With half the city being dug up for one or the other reason the traffic appears to be going haywire while the pedestrians are scampering for safety. Mangaluru has a dubious reputation for being the most unsafe city for pedestrians. Nobody has investigated this so there is no official document available for gauging the level of discomfort for the pedestrian but the way the city is dug up at present it is evident to the naked eye the violation of the safety of pedestrians.

Schoolchildren, young and old folks, ladies and gentlemen are the most susceptible. They come onto the road to escape the dug-up areas endangering their safety. It is carnage out there. With the roads dug up here in there, some could claim that they have sent people to the hospital with injuries, some others would state that they have claimed lives! Even today, when there is so much conversation about road safety, and despite pedestrians being at the forefront of this conversation, many roads are not safe either due to construction or debris left after construction. Not “Smart” for a so-called “Smart City?”. Until this construction is completed, commuters and motorists may have to keep their fingers crossed. Have a safe commute around this construction zone?

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