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OUT IN THE COLD:A steady drizzle added to the woes of commuters stranded at Thokkottu Junction in Mangalore on Wednesday,
MANGALORE: Traffic on the busy National Highway No. 17 came to a standstill for over five hours as members of various organisations marched from the Nanthoor junction to Talapady in protest against the pathetic condition of the road on Wednesday.
Only police vehicles and motorcycles of mediapersons were allowed on the stretch. An ambulance too was not able to get through. Bus commuters such as students and office-goers were stranded with buses staying off the road in this area for most part of the day. Bus services resumed in the evening.
Although the protesters had threatened to impose a 12-hour blockade of the highway, their plans did not materialise.
Ivan D'Souza, senior Congress leader and president of the Dakshina Kannada Karmika Parishat, addressed a gathering at Mahaveer Circle. “All the national highways passing through the district (17, 13 and 48) are in a pathetic condition. It is the failure of the district administration since the same highways are in a better state elsewhere,” he said. He termed “ridiculous” the refrain of officials of the National Highways Authority of India that the road would be widened.
Mangalore MLA U.T. Khader said there was no shortage of funds from the Centre for the maintenance of national highways.
The Karmika Parishat, the Dakshina Kannada Bus Workers' Association, Sri Rama Sene, Tulunadu Rakshana Vedike, Mangalore City Autorickshaw Drivers' Association, and advocates from the Mangalore Bar Association supported the protest.
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