Side walks in the city continue to pose as death traps for pedestrians, as they walk tight-rope between ramming into an oncoming vehicle or falling into deep unguarded drains, each time while trying to reach their destinations.
The stretch between St Agnes School (Bendoor) and St Theresa School (Lower Bendoor), is frequented by students between the ages three to 22 years, who daily commute on this route. However, they have to watch out the raging traffic on one end and the deep drain on the other.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Mallikatte resident Jyothi Pinto explains that her child’s pre-school is right next to the deep drain which lacks barricade. "My three-year-old son rushes out of school as soon as he hears the school bell in spite of my repeated warning. I along with other parents rush to the school gate much in advance to avoid our children being victims of any untoward incident,” she says.
According to the locals, the barricade between the road and drain has been non-existent for the past 15 years, in spite of their repeated requests to the Mangalore City Corporation.
“There are several incidents of people falling in the drain and being severely injured, in order to avoid being hit by the vehicles. Moreover, after the concretisation, the people are at a greater risk as some portion of the road is slippery during rains,” says another resident Celine D'Souza.
In Pumpwell area, the pedestrian footpath leads to a 10 feet deep open drain. A person unaware of the road conditions of the city can easily meet his death if he opts to walk on the footpath, especially in the night.Similarly in Pumpwell circle junction, hundreds of people who stand to board their regular buses face the risk of falling into the storm water drain right behind the faceless bus-stop. The situation here gets worse at night as there is no street light or warning signs for the commuters and the risks of them falling into the drain are much higher.
In Mallikatte area, Opposite City Hospital, the barrier between the road and drain is missing. The road abruptly ends near the drain opening. To make things worse, tall weeds have grown in the drain. Hence, if a person assumes that there is a road and continues to walk, he can severely get hurt. Similar road conditions are seen at the stretch between Bejai and KSRTC.
Apart from the risk of people falling, the open drains are breeding grounds for mosquitoes which pose a greater health risk for citizens. "Why is Mangalore City Corporation turning a blind eye towards the safety of its citizens? Should safety be provided, only after mishap occurs?" questions Pumpwell resident Shailesh Poojary.
Commissioner assures"We shall attend to the safety measures immediately," assures MCC Commissioner Ajith Kumar Hegde. MCC takes the complaints of its citizens seriously and the matter will be looked into as top priority, he said.Newly elected ward member for Shivbagh area, Sabitha Misquith said that she has taken a note of the problem, and assured that the unscientific road issues in her ward will be raised, as soon as the council is formed.