The half-done four-lane road between Thokkottu Junction on NH 66 and medical education and healthcare hub Deralakatte has been creating severe inconvenience to road users who find it difficult to negotiate pothole and crater-ridden stretches at regular intervals.
Road users who were earlier grumbling slow vehicular movement because of the stretch being unable to take that many vehicles are now facing difficulties even though the road has been made four lanes from the earlier two.
Ambulances transporting patients to the Yenepoya Medical College and Hospital, K.S. Hegde Medical College Academy and Kanachur Medical College and Hospital at Deralakatte with their bumpy movement add to the woes of the patients being carried in them. Despite the road being filled with potholes, many ambulance divers do not slow down their vehicles with a view to saving precious life, said Nagaraj Shetty, one such driver.
The Thokkottu-Mudupu-B.C. Road (Panemangaluru/Melkar) stretch is being developed into four lanes in phases by the State Public Works Department for the last about four years. Though the stretch has been declared a bypass National Highway for vehicles operating between Bengaluru-Mangaluru NH 75 and Panvel-Kochi NH 66, actual work of developing it into a national highway is yet to commence.
Passing through the Mangaluru Assembly constituency, the stretch of the road has been the nerve centre for educational and healthcare institutions in and around Konaje-Deralakatte, including Mangalore University, Kanachur Medical College and Hospital, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, Fr. Muller Homoeopathic College and Yenepoya Medical College and Hospital.
Thousands of people depend on the road for their regular travel either by buses or private vehicles even as localities around Konaje and Deralakatte have grown into mini townships.
Sources in the Public Works Department said that untimely rain in April/ May affected the completion of bitumen laying on the widened stretch of the road for about 3.5 km. Due to rain, the contractor has been unable to complete the work.
As rain has abated, work on completing the road with bitumen layer, shoulder drains, median and other works will start in about a week, the sources said.