Udupi, Aug 9,2017: It was a shocking protest that local residents saw on the road near the bus stop of the Manipal town. Nityananda Olakadu, social activist and president of the Zilla Nagarika Samiti, staged a unique form of protest to express anger against official apathy towards infrastructure. The social activist condemned the poor condition of the national highway passing through Manipal. He swam symbolically, as he could not dip himself completely, but gathered a huge crowd who cheered him and expressed protest to wards the authorities.
Olakadu was accompanied by another agitator Tharanath Mesta, who staged fishing in the water in the pothole and had a dead fish at the end of his fishing rod. Olakadu said that the administration is too lethargic. The administration is least bothered about the lives of commuters. The roads are so pathetic that patients who are taken to KMC, Manipal, on the roads die on the way as the horrible condition of the roads do not permit the vehicles to ply smoothly. Every phase of driving or riding in the area is risky. Manipal is an educational hub and the stretch is an important road that countless pedestrians use and vehicles ply. The road which is an absolute farm field is filled with potholes every foot of the way.
The road has been upgraded to a national highway but the repair works are also not taken up. The national highway process is very slow. Unless the real work begins, the tragedy continues. He demanded that concreting of the road should be undertaken immediately to render the road to some shape. Moreover, depending upon the earlier poor quality work, the contractors should be blacklisted and the district administration should initiate measures to correct matters.