Manipal, (The Hindu): Residents of the educational hub of Manipal vented their ire at the huge potholes right from the Syndicate Circle to MIT Junction here on Tuesday.
It is Tiger Circle and Manipal Bus Stand, which constitutes the heart of the place, which have potholes so big that nearly half a tyre of a motorcycle goes into it.
Potholes are a recurring phenomenon after the monsoon on this road. One reason is that there are no proper roadside drains in the area resulting in large pools of stagnant water on the road.
This stretch of road is important as it provides access to many educational institutions and hospitals of Manipal University and the Head Office of the Syndicate Bank.
Fed up with the situation, former municipal councillor, Nityananda Volakadu, wore a raincoat and tried to swim in one of these pools of stagnant water.
He said that a large number of people, including students, teachers and patients, visited this place daily. Though this stretch of road, which was earlier part of the State Highway, had since become part of National Highway 169A connecting Malpe with Tirthahalli, its condition was pathetic.
Both the governments should take immediate action to repair it. “The contractor, who constructed this road, should be black-listed. A concrete road should be built from Syndicate Circle to MIT Junction,” he said.
Sudhakar Shettigar, autorickshaw driver, said that he developed waist pain driving his vehicle through the potholes for nearly 10 hours a day. “Even the passengers sitting in my auotrickshaw have to suffer while I try to dodge the potholes,” he said.
Vittal Nayak, taxi operator, said that the government was not interested in the lives of the people. “Even patients being brought in ambulances to Kasturba Hospital had to suffer additional pain due to these potholes. Despite such big potholes, no repair works have been taken up,” he said. Chandrahasa Rai, bus conductor, said that it was difficult for the passengers to get in and out of the bus because the potholes had appeared in places where buses were parked. “It also results in traffic jams,” he said.
Pradeep Kumar, taxi operator, said: “This road was fully repaired a year-and-a-half back. Now look at its shape. There is no maintenance at all.”
Ganeshraj Saralebettu, social worker, said that a large number of people came from Udupi, Parkala and surrounding areas to Manipal because they were employed in several institutions here. “They have to suffer daily while travelling — be it on a bus, car or a two-wheeler,” he said.
Meanwhile, Manjunath Nayak, Assistant Engineer, National Highways Department, told The Hindu that the department could only put wet-mix to fill the potholes during monsoon. “In fact, 10 days ago, we had put wet-mix there. But it gets disturbed when it rains. We will put it again. Permanent work can begin only after monsoon,” he said.
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