Mangaluru, Oct 13, 2019: In a bid to draw the attention of the State government to the battered Nanthoor Junction in the city, a civil society member staged a silent protest at the junction for nearly six hours on Saturday. He was joined by two others later.
Arjun Mascarenhas, a resident of Derebail and a member of an MCC civic Whatsapp group, came to the busy traffic junction at about 10 a.m. He wore a mask and sat under an umbrella on the chair he had brought with him.
Mr. Mascarenhas displayed banners which read “Bad roads, no vote”, “Is it too much to ask for good roads”, and “Make Mangaluru pothole free”. After nearly two hours, Mr. Mascarenhas was joined by his friends, Roopan Fernandes and Ashley Fernandes, who also made a short video of the protest and circulated it on social media.
This made a few more people join Mr. Mascarenhas’s protest.
As the protest was on, the National Highway Authority of India workers came with a tractor load of “jalli” stones to fill a huge pothole at the junction. Mr. Mascarenhas and others went on with their protest till around 5 p.m.
Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Mascarenhas said the silent protest was the way to draw the attention of the authorities concerned to the worsening condition of national highways passing through the city.
“This is our way to build pressure on the authorities, who should realise that Mangalureans will not bear with such roads. We cannot compromise on the safety of motorists and pedestrians,” he said.
This is not the first time Mr. Mascerenhas has taken up the cause of road safety. His recent video highlighting the bad condition of the Central Market Road by showing a “moon walk” went viral on the social media.
Recently, he and a few other residents staged a protest outside the office of Mangaluru City Corporation demanding repair of battered city roads.
“I will shortly meet the NHAI officials and demand repair of these stretches,” he added.
Inputs from The Hindu