Mangalore: It’s always nice to have a minister, MLC or for that matter, a MLA living in your area- and for any reasons if there are any civic problems in that area they will be taken care in no time or rectified within a certain period. Just for example-the residents of Bendur area were facing a few problems, especially to do deal with dilapidated footpaths and walkways for years-and also it was very hazardous for them to walk down the road very close to the open drainage without a barricade. In the past few people have slipped and fallen into this drainage (no deaths, but many were injured) and few months ago a auto-rickshaw had rolled down into this “death-trap”- open drainage ! has highlighted the issue several times by publishing articles, especially the Bendur road. “There is no proper footpath to walk. When the civic body was widening and concreting the roads, we thought that Mangalore would turn into a dream city, with safe, well-planned roads, for comfort and safety for both motorists and pedestrians. But, instead, these roads have proved to be a nightmare to many. A number of incidents of this kind have been taking place in this road,” had said Karunakar who resides in the vicinity.

his road in front of Bendur Church/St Agnes College has been regularly used by a large number of school children, college students and the church-goers everyday. has also handed over printouts of the article to the authorities concerned in the past and they had assured to complete the work of the footpath in the second phase. All through the couple of years there have been only assurances and no leader or corporator has taken interest to solve the problem.

“In this particular place, there is no proper footpath, no proper road, no proper protection for the pedestrians, nor for the motorists. If two heavy vehicles move alongside at a time on the road, the pedestrians will have no option than jump into the gutter to save themselves,” had said Sophia, who walks on this road everyday to church. ” I feel scared to walk down this road before and after college very adjacent to the open drainage-because many a times speeding vehicles especially city and service buses drive by very close to you. You can’t even move sideways, because of the open drainage. Quite dangerous” had said Shalini, a degree student at St Agnes.

Not much improvement was done to the Bendur area during the past MCC governance nor by any government representative elected by the citizens. But lately, after a new political party took over the task, all those complaints and whining have toned down a little bit, with the quick action taken by MLA J R Lobo in rectifying some of the civic issues which were submitted to him when he got elected as MLA from Mangalore South Constituency. Few times the residents had met Lobo and discussed about fixing the broken footpaths/walkways-and he assured them that he would take care of those problems-and he did keep his

The broken walkway in front of St Agnes college was replaced with brand new interlock bricks, for a pleasurable and comfortable walk-even the footpaths were repaired to get a brand new look. Residents are really happy with the job well done by their beloved MLA-thank you Mr J R Lobo for your concern and prompt service to the residents of Bendure and surrounding areas.

Now coming to the open storm water drainage problems in the city-one can find a few of them scattered all over the city-and one of them is down the road from St Agnes College. One of the biggest problems that plague some of citys storm water drains is the lack of service roads that can facilitate maintenance and other works. With no proper cleaning that’s where it collects garbage-some drainage’s do not have a barricade and the settlements around it make the sewage line inaccessible for cleaning. This absence of service roads along major drains stall cleaning and any attempt to protect the drain from debris.

Apart from channelling the deluge that visits the city every monsoon, these conduits provide passage to garbage, silt and construction debris. They also support life, which springs up precariously and once established thrives vivaciously on the narrow paths that skirt their embankments. The open storm water drainage near St Agnes has been hazardous to commuters, including school and college going students who sometimes have to take close chances of falling into that drainage when vehicles zoom by them.

As they say, ” Something is better than nothing”, with some one’s idea of erecting barricades around the drainage has made commuters life little safer, but not completely safer. Chances of falling into the drainage are slim after these barricades have been erected-but the engineer who had come up with this project could have thought of something batter, that’s what I feel, so also few of the commuters who take that road everyday. Putting some slabs over the open drainage and surround it by barricades would have been a much safer for pedestrians.

” What good is it in having these barricades. I should have been walking on other side of the barricade on a slabbed footpath, rather than still walking in fear on the street. This barricade will only save a person from accidentally falling into the drainage, but your life is still on risk walking on the heavy traffic filled road. Waste of tax-payers money-I hope people will agree with me” said 62 years Thomas, who was on his way for morning mass at St Sebastian’s church-Bendur. ” These barricades will only save us from slipping or falling into this deep drainage, other than that I don’t think it helps me in any other way. Look at me I am still walking on the road-and look at that speeding Karkal-moodbidri bus, seems like it is going to knock me down” said Cheryl, a PUC student at St Agnes.

” With the barricades erected in front of the open drainage it is much safer for children to walk now, than it was before. But people have to be very cautious while walking on the road. MCC has done the best that they could do, after all you can’t more from our city officials” said a Lavita, a mother who was escorting her child to St Theresa’sSchool. ” Although I don’t use this road, the city engineers should have come up a better solution. They could have spend a little more money, laid slabs over the drainage, and then barricade it. This look like a dumb idea. We all know how things are planned in the city?” said a father on a motorbike dropping off his daughter at St Agnes School.

I wanted to get comments from Mr Subraya Pai, one of the managing partners of Bharath Beedies group, whose house is located on the Bendur road, where all these barricades have been erected in front of his house-but since he was in Bombay, one of the spokesperson for his company said that the Pai family is not at all happy with the MCC idea of erecting the barricades, which don’t do any good for the citizens, which is also a obstacle for Pai family.

So whatever the case, some are pleased with the improvements and some are displeased-but one should appreciate the efforts put in by MLA J R Lobo in trying his best to satisfy the residents of Bendur and public. Job well done, Lobo Sir ! We would also appreciate if you could also show your interest and efforts in rectifying the problems faced by the residents in other areas. Thank you in anticipation.