2007 manifesto promised subways at Hampankatta, Jyothi and Surathkal

Construction of pedestrian subways at Hampankatta junction, Ambedkar Circle (formerly Jyothi Circle), Old Clock Tower Circle, and in Surathkal would be on the wish-list of any urbanite in Mangalore given the traffic chaos grappling these vital crossroads. Strange it may sound, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had made a promise to this effect in the run up to the Mangalore City Corporation election in 2007. Although these promises struck a chord with the urban voters and helped the party come to power in the MCC for the first time in 20 years, the subways still remain a mirage.

Among the 25 promises that the BJP made in the election manifesto were construction of parking lot at 12 places and concrete bus bays at city bus stops to avoid city buses pulling up on roads.

A majority of promises relating to improving the city’s infrastructure has not been implemented. The manifesto promised rebuilding the flower market at the Car Street with provision for vehicle parking at the basement. It mentioned that full-fledged fish and meat markets would be built at Kadri, Surathkal, and Kankanady.

“Where are they,” asks G. Hanumantha Kamath, president, Nagarika Hitarakshana Samiti and an activist.

Mr. Kamath said the five-storey market complex at Bejai started three years ago has not been completed. The manifesto said the party would give priority for constructing an all-facility new private bus stand in the city and improve passenger facilities at the existing private bus stand (adjacent to Nehru Maidan). However, the promises have remained on paper.

The other major promises not realised include open air “ranga mantapas” at select places, an international level standard cricket stadium and swimming pool, public toilets at 10 places and forming ward committees to promote participation of people in the development of the city.

Mr. Kamath said that although the corporation upgraded many major tar roads as concrete roads many still lack pavements and storm-water drains. They have been laid without factoring in water supply lines and other utility lines.

K. Monappa Bhandary, spokesperson, Dakshina Kannada unit of the BJP and MLC, told The Hindu that the BJP-led council had upgraded tar roads as concrete roads running into 75 km. It had laid interlocks running into 40 km. He said the party had been successful in ensuring supply of water in all wards on a daily basis. “Earlier, many wards were getting water once in two days or alternate days,” he said.

Mr. Bhandary said that 48 bus shelters had been built in the city in the past five years. Of the 10 public toilets promised, three have been built at Ambedkar Circle, near PVS Circle and at Surathkal.

The MLC said the corporation had given priority for keeping the city clean.

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