News Roads

‘Repair road or face protest’

The Nagarika Horata Samithi, Jokatte, is planning to launch a protest against the pathetic condition of the corridor road from Kulur to Mangaluru Special Economic Zone (MSEZ) that also serves Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd. and residents of Jokatte.

The samithi has in a statement said that MSEZ built the road from KIOCL Junction at Kulur partially encroaching upon the Phalguni riverbed amid protests by residents of Jokatte and surrounding areas. Many leaders went to jail during these protests as the district administration had strongly backed the MSEZ work.

While MSEZ and MRPL have been using the road passing partially through the Baikampady Industrial Area (on the northern bank of the Phalguni) for many years, the companies have now abandoned the road after MSEZ built an exclusive corridor along with a road overbridge at Jokatte to cross the Mangaluru-Mumbai railway line. This corridor has been out of bounds for the general public, including the local population.

The samithi said that MSEZ is now claiming that it does not need the old road and hence, there is no need to maintain it. Still, pipelines to and from MRPL pass beneath the road stretch even as hundreds of heavy vehicles towards MRPL Phase III pass through the old road. It said that people have been saying that the road has been extensively damaged near Ruchi Gold and Adani Wilmar because of the improper handling of their drainage infrastructure.

It noted that besides catering to hundreds of industries in the locality, the road also catered to the residents of many areas, including Jokatte, Nadumane, Borugudde and Pejawar and has been a major link to Bajpe and Airport Road. All road users have been put to great discomfort because of the pathetic condition.

While major industries in the region have turned a blind eye towards the road condition, the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board too is not bothered about the road, the samithi regretted. It has little hopes as the district administration is not bothered even about industrial pollution of the Phalguni.

Problems in the area get addressed only when people resort to protests to wake up the authorities. Similarly, there appears to be no other way than to launch another protest demanding good roads, the samithi warned.

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