A ride on a two-wheeler on some of the roads can test spines and suspensions
Even with rains below average in Mangalore, many arterial roads have already crumbled into potholes or its tarmac and concrete surface have withered into an uneven mess.
Take Bolar Road for example. Shopkeepers said the road was asphalted before the monsoon, but after a few spells of rain, potholes and sunken manholes are a common sight. “They tarred the road, but didn’t raise the manhole cover. Because of this, a depression of a few inches existed in the middle of the road. With the rains, the road around the manholes collapsed into bigger potholes,” said Vaman Rao, who runs a shop near Fisheries College.
Although Kuloor Ferry Road has seen a layer of tar being put recently near New Chitra Theatre, many potholes and the uneven surfacing of the narrow concrete road routinely sees traffic piling up on the road.
Similarly, with at least 17 potholes, traffic struggle for movement at near Bendoorwell junction and Jyothi circle towards Bunts Hostel; 11 potholes and loose gravel stones makes travelling difficult on the 300m Bridge Road connecting Bunts Hostel and Balmatta.
Even the National Highway 66, connecting Mangalore with suburbs in the north and south, has potholes.
Crater-like potholes have developed on the Koolur-Panambur stretch. A rough count threw up 78 potholes, tarmac aberrations and bad patches just on this stretch. Most exist on the Panambur bridge towards the city where the tarmac has given way to reveal the concrete below.
“The depth of the potholes is considerable, and the stretch is horrible when it rains. You can’t even avoid the unevenness of the road as your movement is restricted on the busy road,” said Joshua D’costa, who commutes on his bike to his college in the city from Kulai.
After Koolur, the road becomes motorable for a stretch, save for the blemishes in Kottara Chowki and Padua.
However, the motorists’ joy is short-lived. The incomplete four-lane work after Nanthoor has left the road in a sorry state. A huge pothole filled with loose gravel greets the traveller heading towards Bikarnakatta. Towards Pumpwell, half the road seems sheared off, while the other half will test spines and suspensions. It is easier to count the patches of road instead of potholes.
There is no respite for a motorist even on reaching Pumpwell. Towards Ullal and Kerala, the Highway is badly patched, giving the motorist a bumpy ride. The road over the Netravati Bridge bears cavities wherein, the underlying iron bars used to strengthen the concrete road can be seen.
Taking left at Pumpwell towards Mangalore through the Kankanady Bypass Road is similarly not a pleasant journey.
For Shobha Menon, a home maker from Padil who has to traverse the road as it remains the entry- and exit-way during her visits to the city, said potholes enlarged with every spell of rain.
“Potholes started developing in areas on the road where water would stand,” she said. Small potholes in June expanded to gaping ones by August.
“I can feel my spine crunch when my moped goes into these potholes. Some of them are very deep,” said Ms. Menon.