Work on widening Kuloor Ferry Road yet to begin
From the vantage point of his 35-year-old snack shop located off Kuloor Ferry Road, Lakshman Prabhu (68) watches dispassionately as unsuspecting motorcyclists encounter a 12-inch-deep, 10-ft-wide pothole filled with water every now and then.
“That is the 27th such incident for the day so far,” he says, even as another rider loses his balance and falls and then pushes his motorcycle out of the hole. “One of these days, somebody is going to get hurt very badly.”
The pothole has cut off access to his shop and is getting bigger every day. Counting the number of vehicles that hit the pothole is now the favourite pastime for Mr. Prabhu, whose business has taken a beating in the past three months.Until March this year, business used to be brisk at his shop, which he describes as famous for its ‘ambade', ‘goli bajji' and ‘Manglur buns'. In March this year, the Mangalore City Corporation decided to widen the road and acquired land from private owners on either side for the purpose.
But work on relaying the road never really took off. “We are waiting for the monsoon to end before starting the work,” says the local councillor, S. Mamatha Shenoy.
The structures on the acquired land were razed almost immediately. From then on, the woes of shop-owners like Mr. Prabhu got worse by the day.
“The road is changing shape every day with new potholes being formed. Travelling at night or during heavy rain has become a risky affair,” says Devdas(45), who has been using this road since he was a boy to go to his ancestral shop near the Venkataramana temple.
What locals such as Sitaram Kamath (54) do not understand is the hurry with which the buildings were demolished and the lethargy in laying a new road.
“We have not witnessed full-fledged repairs on this road for 12 years. Why could they not have waited a few more months for the monsoon to pass,” asks Mr. Kamath, who has owned a shop in front of New Chitra Talkies for 32 years.