Unique 5-Minute Mass Protest Against Bad Roads in Mangalore
Unique 5-Minute Protest
The campaign will be held in two places – Entire Mangalore city and nearby places, and Yedapadav Junction.
Jaago Mangalore Association has conceived of a unique 5-minute protest to highlight the issue of bad roads without disrupting public life. The protest calls for all citizens to stop their vehicles on the main road on 23rd March at 6 pm and honk continuously for just 5 minutes to show their voice again against the failure of the authorities and the existing administrative system to deliver and maintain quality roads for the use of the taxpaying citizens. The protest will last only for maximum 5 minutes without disturbing public life and free movement of vehicular traffic will commence immediately after the stipulated 5 minutes.
The call by Jaago Mangalore Association for protest against bad roads on Friday March 23 at 6 pm in the form of mass honking has been steadily gaining momentum with several voluntary organizations and professional bodies such as DK Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Union, DK Bus Operators’ Association, Kanara Bus Owners’ Association, City Bus Owners’ Association, Quarry and Stone Crushers’ Association, Lions Clubs, Jaycees, Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Karnataka Rakshana Vedike pledging support.
Karnataka Rakshana Vedike DK chief Dr Annayya Kulal has said his organization has selected the junction outside Bharath Mall as the venue for staging its protest.
“We have always supported peaceful struggle for developmental purposes and whenever there is a good cause we should support each other. The issue of bad roads taken up by Jaago Mangalore Association under the leadership of Vijaynath Shetty is very timely and relevant as the citizens have been suffering for a long time,” Kulal has said.
Why this Protest?
Smooth well-maintained roads are the pride of a locality. Yet, many of our streets are in disrepair. Following are few noteworthy examples:
Kulshekar flyover – construction is stuck for years and has become an eyesore.
Bangalore – Mangalore sector – Ghat section is unmotorable; after monsoon the entire road will become unbearable.
Udupi – Mangalore sector – no action taken to improve the road
Mijar – Bridge near Bolechar School (near Alva’s Ayurvedic): in broken condition since one year, no repair done.
If a road gets into bad condition, the administration takes one year for tender, and one more year for repair. Then the road lasts only a year. So in this cycle of 5 years, citizens get to enjoy a good road only for one year. Also, the roads are repaired as per particular specifications, irrespective of the citizens’ requirement. Narrow roads cannot be widened even if space is available. Hence the repaired roads are not up to mark.
If a contractor does extra work to benefit the people, he is not paid and his bills as per tender are also stuck for 8 months to one year. The government takes 100% road tax before a person actually get the delivery of his vehicle (around 12% to 19% of the vehicle cost) and if he does not pay taxes the vehicle is seized immediately and he is fined. Then shouldn’t the roads be in good condition?
After careful study the Jaago Mangalore Association has come to the following conclusions:
No co-ordination between government departments – hence delay in budgeting and tendering.
Lack of planning and initiative (Not discussing with locals and Panchayath)
Nonpayment of dues to contractors for a long time hence contractors not taking interest
Poor quality of work and material, poor SSR rates which discourage good contractors from taking up the job.
The administrative system responsible for road maintenance has to be flexible. In the present system, the standard procedure is followed for all types of road work, irrespective of the nature of work. Getting sanction for a minor road repair could take as much time as a major road laying job. The tendering stage goes on for years resulting in delay. And after the road is repaired, it last for only 1year.
Let’s change the system for better, longer lasting and immediate good roads.