Appreciating The Hindu’s 7-part series of potholes and bad roads, Avinash Shetty, Professor of Community Medicine at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal and Chief Medical Officer Dr. TMA Pai Rotary Hospital, Karkala has this to say about the condition of the Udupi-Karkala state highway:
“I have been travelling on this for last 25 years and it is very sad to tell that this road was never in good condition all these time. The 35-km road connects two taluks and a major educational centre like Manipal which also has major referral hospital. Thousands of patients travel on this road. Due to potholes even ambulances take a long time to reach hospital delaying treatment. This puts hundreds of lives at risk. Also when critically-ill patients are sent on ambulances, due to potholes and bumpy road, it is difficult to maintain life-saving equipment attached to patients like oxygen pipe, glucose drip etc. This road is shared between PWDs of Udupi and Karkala and the work is done in parts, so you will see a few stretches are in good conditions, some with potholes, some very bumpy, some with partially filled potholes. The most disgusting thing is potholes appear at same spots every year.
“Can’t we make a road without potholes? Why can’t entire 35 km-stretch of Karkala-Udupi road be taken up as one-time project instead of doing in parts? The amount of money spent for potholes repair over the last 10 years, could have been used as one-time fund to relay the entire 35-km stretch.
“Thanks to The Hindu for taking up issue of potholes. Please continue this public cause, so that we can have pothole-free roads. It is not the rains, but corruption that is creating potholes.”
Reader Sukumar Talapady pointed out that recently a leakage from a pipe was left unplugged for more than a week near the Indian Overseas Bank in Landlinks Town. He told The Hindu that water-logging triggered many potholes as water kept on flowing on the tar road. He said he recently counted 22 potholes on the one-side median on the national highway between Kottara Chowki and Kavoor.