OTHERS

Mangalore citizens concerned over road condition

MANGALORE JAN. 31. Just when the road users are heaving a sigh of relief in Mangalore following the High Court direction to the Mangalore City Corporation to keep its roads in ''motorable condition'', the condition has become worse due to the digging up of roads by private telecom companies.

The private operators, Bharti Telenet and Reliance, have resorted to digging up of roads in Mangalore. Added to this, Tata Telecom, which has surveyed the line route, will start work soon.

Expressing the predicament in ''administrative terms'', sources in the Mangalore City Corporation told The Hindu that the Mangalore City Corporation Council had been approached by the companies for permission in this regard with letters from the Union IT Ministry marked ''top priority''.

Following protests by the people, the corporation, however, set a deadline for cessation of all work by January 14 which was defied by the companies, forcing the MCC to extend the deadline to Thursday. Due to the digging of trenches, BSNL cables get damaged and, as a result, BSNL will also have to dig at places where the cables have been damaged.

On the Kankanadi bypass road alone, BSNL cables have been damaged at 10 places, and such incidents are in plenty all over the city, BSNL officials say.

The companies have also laid cables beneath the storm-water drains which will cause severe problem for the city's drainage system during the monsoon.

The city corporation has expressed its inability to asphalt the portion of road dug up by the companies before the monsoon. The corporation officials dread the problems that may arise when the companies start giving ''tap-off point connections'' which might require roads to be dug up again.

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