In addition to the numerous problems citizens and motorists already have on road and road works in Mangaluru, added to that we have safety hazards putting peoples’ lives at risk by trucks of construction sites hauling mud and sand, and with no precautions, huge amount of mud and sand are scattered on most of the City roads, and the concerned authorities either from the district administration or Mangaluru City Corporation, are least bothered about the safety of the motorists, or are taking any action It may seem the lowest in the priority of MCC to clean it up. But clearly, there are many issues related to this.
Like Dust – on the vehicles, on people using the road, and on the houses/shops located near the roads. and in the house next to the road. Dust is bad for our health in many, many ways. Dust covers the newly painted roads and within a few days, the paint faded. This is adding cost to maintenance Dust and Sand make junctions slippery. I am sure there are accidents due to this. The entire city is dusty and in some way, it adds to the stress in my opinion. Now here is an example where a truck hauling sand and plying on the road between Bunts Hostel Circle and Kodialbail, dropped a large amount of sand near the St Aloysius ITI, and due to this quite a few two-wheeler riders lost balances, skidded and few landing on the road suffered minor injuries, including a mother taking her son on her scooter to the school.
Noticing such incidents taking place due to this scattered sand right in the middle of the road, a couple of trainers (Teachers) along with a dozen of students acting as Good Samaritans” stepped out of their campus, and carrying brooms, buckets of water, shovel, etc got into community service by clearing the sand, thereby preventing any more incidents of two-wheeler riders skidding and hurting themselves or deaths. This act of the students and their teachers was appreciated by the public, thereby sending a message to our elected representatives and City officials that when they are lazy and least bothered to act, it is the citizens/students who do the needful for the safety of the people. Good job by the St Aloysius ITI ‘Good Samaritans’!
With all the commercial and residential constructions going on in our ‘Smart City’ of ours, another problem I have, for which I don’t know what to do, is with the problems related to such constructions. Somehow builders/contractors seem to believe that the footpath in front of their house belongs to them and can be used for storing materials and even building a temporary hut for the construction workers/security. This is annoying as it usually makes the footpath completely unusable and damages it – and usually, they don’t bother fixing it when the project is over. It also often means that they have violated the regulations as they have no space in their plot for building even a 6 x 6 x 8-foot house, but that is a different issue.
Decades ago, our beautiful City-Mangaluru was never a dusty city, thanks to its tree cover and independent houses. But now that’s no longer the case with the massacre of trees and the large-scale construction projects coming up all over the place. The dust thing can be put down to the bad construction practices of the City Corporation. The quality is nowhere near international standards. I don’t know if the current crop of engineers is either aware or even cares.
Regarding the usage of public property for personal use. In most countries you have to pay for using public space or for the authorities to clean up the area you mess up. Even when you are granted permission to use the sidewalk etc for your construction you have to make arrangements for a temporary sidewalk and amenities to be put up. If you mess up, the costs are so high that the builders themselves clean up the streets after every truck that comes in and out with building material. They even clean the tires of the trucks leaving the site so they don’t have to pay for the truck messing up the entire city on its way. But that is not happening in the so-called “Smart City-Mangalore’- only talk and nothing else. Seems like no Smart Engineers or Smart Authorities.