Roads ridden with large potholes, unpredictable depressions and unmarked medians coupled with rain have led to accidents that have left motorists with a hole in the pocket.

One of the delivery boys of Coastal's Wholesome Chickens fractured his right hand and leg and was forced to spend a few days in hospital after losing his balance after his motorcycle hit a pothole. The accident at the Padil bridge also damaged his motorcycle.

Another accident dented the entire front end of a scooter when the rider hit an unmarked median on the recently concreted Falnir Road at night, according to restaurant manager Balakrishna. The most commonly reported problem in workshops is shock absorber and suspension damage. “Most of my customers come to the shop with stiff and noisy suspension caused by rough roads,” says Harold Soans, owner of a two-wheeler repair shop. Replacing pin-bearings, which are the first components to get damaged in suspensions, and oiling the suspension, together cost around Rs. 500.

Suresh, works manager at Mandovi Motors, says that about 20 of the 85 cars they receive every day have suspension problems, while others usually have some damage to the steering system.

The second most common complaint is damage to the steering column, which costs over Rs. 600 to repair. Mr. Soans says he also receives a number of two-wheelers with brake and clutch damage. Problems with the suspension sent three buses owned by Kasturba Medical College to the garage last week. “We are wasting a lot of time and manpower because of this,” says Balakrishna, transport in-charge at Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore. Mr. Balakrishna says poor mileage is affecting his fleet of 23 vehicles.

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