The stretch between Tiger Circle and Syndicate Circle is possibly among the worst roads in Udupi city

The stretch between Tiger Circle and Syndicate Circle on Udupi-Manipal Road is damaged at Tiger Circle, Manipal Bus Stand, area in front of Manipal Post Office and Syndicate Circle.

Parts of Kallinapur-Santhekatte to Udyavara stretch on National Highway 66, which passes through Udupi, are also damaged.

The badly damaged portions on this stretch are Kallianpur-Santhekatte Junction area, Ambagilu area, Karavali Junction area, Ambalpady Junction and Kinnimulki Junction.

According to the Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC), 116 kilometres of roads coming under the CMC are badly damaged.

Driving on these portions is a nightmare not just for two-wheelers, but also for autorickshaws and buses. Raghavendra Nayak, an autorickshaw driver in Manipal, says that auto drivers pray to the gods that they be freed from driving on potholed roads.

“Tiger Circle-Syndicate Circle stretch was asphalted just five months ago. Look at its pathetic condition now. There are potholes on the same spots,” he says.

Soujanya Kumar, another autorickshaw driver, says that besides passengers, the pedestrians, too, are at risk. “When driving on potholed or bad roads, the jelly stones could splinter and injure pedestrians,” he says.

Lakshman Poojary, a city bus driver, says that driving on potholed roads is an irritation. “Despite intense competition among city buses, we have to drive cautiously. If anything goes wrong, people blame us. Potholed roads also increase maintenance costs,” he says.

Shantharaj Aithal, a retired engineer and trustee of Udupi Consumers’ Forum, and author a book Raste Purana, says that since there are continuous rains for three months, some leniency could be shown to the authorities. “But it would be better if good quality asphalt which can sustain rains is used.

Since the number of vehicles in Udupi and Manipal has increased substantially, the thickness of the asphalted road should be commensurate to the vehicular density,” he says.

Hole in NHAI’s court

CMC Commissioner Srikanth Rao says that the CMC has drawn up an estimate of Rs. 1.4 crore to repair the 116 km of badly damaged roads in the city, which would be sent to the Deputy Commissioner for approval. “The repair work will be taken up shortly,” he said.

“Since the Tiger Circle-Syndicate Circle stretch in Manipal comes under Public Works Department (PWD) and the Santhekatte-Kallianpur-Udyavar stretch comes under National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), we have urged them to take up the repair works,” Mr. Rao said.

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