The rider was forced to swerve to avoid an open manhole and they were hit by a bus

Two persons riding a motorcycle had a miraculous escape when the rider was forced to swerve to avoid an open manhole and was hit by a bus on M.G. Road here on Monday, eyewitnesses told The Hindu.

People staged a protest at the spot soon after the accident. Suresh S.K., a shopkeeper on M.G. Road, said that an open manhole in front of Empire Mall caused the accident in which the person riding the motorcycle was dragged under the bus for several metres before it came to a halt.

A person, who was at the spot, captured incident on his cellphone. Mr. Suresh said that the cap of the manhole in front of the mall was unstable and got dislodged from its place after buses passed over it for close to a month. Personnel of the West Traffic police station confirmed this and said that they had been complaining “almost every day” to the Mangalore City Corporation to repair the manhole. Other shopkeepers in the area said that they had complained several times to the city corporation, but nothing happened.

Chandrakanth Shetty of Vani Art Printers opposite the mall said that he had called a councillor that morning after which, workers of the city corporation came to repair the manhole. “Although, the councillor immediately responded to my call, the workers who turned up only used mud to seal the manhole. We did the same thing 10 times yesterday,” Mr. Shetty said and added that the corporation neglected in sealing the manhole properly. A traffic policeman said: “They should have used asphalt to seal the manhole. (But on M.G. Road) a proper speed-breaker is also necessary. It should be constructed according to the norms of the Indian Roads Congress to control speeding vehicles.”

While Mr. Suresh felt that it was not the bus driver's fault, another shopkeeper across the road from the mall said that the driver too was to blame.

“Bus drivers do not care for anything but their timing. There is no speed-breaker at the spot either. People were angry and wanted to attack the bus but arrival of the police prevented this,” said Gopinath Kamath.

Calling the “nagara palike” as “naraka paalike,” Mr. Kamath said: “We have complained many times last month, but they did nothing. They will only wake up if two or three people die in an accident, I think.” Commissioner of Police Seemanth Kumar Singh said that the police had brought the matter to the notice of the city corporation several times, but could do nothing more. However, he added: “If it can be shown that negligence on the part of the city corporation led to the accident, a case could be registered against the engineers.” Corporation Commissioner Harish Kumar was not available to take calls. He sent word through his personal assistant that repair work would be initiated at 4 a.m. on Tuesday.

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