Manipal’s Pothole Problem
Manipal has often been synonymous with strong monsoons. Every year they result in potholes on several roads including the 87 kilometre-long national highway 169A connecting Malpe and Udupi. The incessant downpour in and around the region leads to an average rainfall of nearly 500 cms. The heaviest rainfall is experienced from June to August while months from September to February witness light drizzles.
The stagnant water in the potholes becomes a breeding point for insects and often causes dengue and malaria outbreak in the region. || Photograph Courtesy: Aditya Mathur
As a result of the rains, the roads erode away faster than they would in a place with lesser rainfall. || Picture courtesy: Arsha KA
Improper patchwork around Tiger Circle is the root cause of traffic and mayhem not only in the monsoon season but even during the dry spells. || Photograph Courtesy: Aditya Mathur
Not only do the dilapidated streets cause inconvenience to the commuters but also lead to traffic jams and accidents. The roads aren’t repaired entirely, instead the damaged areas are patched up every year. || Photograph Courtesy: Arsha KA
The stretch from Syndicate Circle to Tiger Circle has been facing heavy traffic jams and is an accident prone area during rush hours. Authorities wait for the monsoons to end and only resort to temporary repairs. || Photograph Courtesy: Arsha KA
Auto-rickshaw drivers often face grave difficulties due to these unrepaired roads. || Photograph Courtesy: Arsha KA
“Deep potholes, broken auto parts and orderly repairing of vehicles has been a monotony for the past ten years,” said N Reddy, an auto-rickshaw driver in Manipal for over three decades. Passengers, especially patients going to the Kasturba Medical College (KMC) Hospital are severely irked by bumpy rides.
The improper drainage system on busy roads simply augments these potholes. || Photograph Courtesy: Aditya Mathur
In a bid to draw the attention of the National Highway Department towards the pathetic plight of the roads, former municipal councillor Nityananda Volakadu wore a raincoat and swam in one of the potholes on August 8.
Featured Image Courtesy: Aditya Mathur