Mangaluru: Two-year delay in underpass exacerbates traffic congestion at Padil

Pics: Ramesh Pandith

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (ANK)

Mangaluru Jul 15: Locals and motorists were outraged at the growing traffic congestion at Padil. An ambulance was also seen stuck and waiting for about an hour in traffic on Saturday, July 15. In conditions where roads are neglected for prolonged periods, one can only wonder what happens to those in a dire situation, like the patient in the ambulance.

Speaking to Daijiworld, Nizamuddin, a resident of Kannur, who was stuck in the traffic, said, ”Today morning, I was stuck in the traffic for nearly 45 minutes. From a distance, we noticed a 108 ambulance sounding a siren, trapped in the traffic for 45 minutes. I feel that the patient almost certainly died by the time the traffic cleared. Waiting for an hour or so for the traffic to ease out is a common sight at Padil. NHAI is directly responsible for the dilapidated roads. Even after frequent complaints to the concerned officials, they have not responded and repaired the roads. We will wait for another week, then will plan to stage a protest about it."

Prakash, a resident of Padil, said, ”Whether it is morning, noon or night, the roadblock remains the same. Yesterday, when I was plying to Farangipete, the traffic was extended up to Alape, a kilometre away from Padil railway bridge. I had to wait for an hour to cover the one-kilometer stretch. If this is the condition of the traffic in the day, students and workers both will not reach their destination in time. This monsoon, the situation has become even more grave."

This has been a recurrent problem for people who ply on the route on a regular basis. Passengers and motorists spend up to several hours in the congestion before they reach the two-lane road 100 metres beyond the railway bridge at Padil.

The problem began with the construction of the railway underpass there, two years ago. Bad condition of the road adds to the misery.

The railway underpass which was to be functional by March 2017, remains work-in-progress. The construction of the alternate route, another railway underpass, was further delayed as the Palakkad railway division had planned to start track doubling work.

Due to incomplete work, the concerned road has grown narrower, making it difficult for vehicles to ply with ease. Moreover, this monsoon, the road was filled with potholes, turning into a nightmare for the motorists. The monsoon caused soil around to loosen and flow down to the road, making it a mucky stretch.