Mangaluru: Salute! Traffic cop fills potholes to make highway safer

Anisa Fathima
Resident Editor

Pics: Nikhil Pai

Mangaluru, Nov 23: Doing the job of a traffic cop is hard enough, but here's one lady, a home guard stationed as traffic policewoman, who has gone way ahead in making roads safer for commuters by doing something that should actually have been done by the highway authority.

Meet Padmavathi, who was was spotted at Baikampady industrial area filling up potholes on the national highway all by herself, just to make the ride smoother for commuters.

Nikhil Pai, the founder of Mangaluru's sole food review group, played Good Samaritan to the lady cop by offering her water and a bottle of cold drink. He later uploaded a post on her work in Facebook.

Nikhil's post on Padmavathi's selfless deed went viral in no time, and within a couple of days, even garnered the attention of state and national online media. To grab the attention of Facebook readers, Nikhil said he 'bribed' the cop, going on to explain that Padmavathi was "busy filling the huge pothole at the national highway 66 all by herself, none to help her. This is actually the job of national highway engineers but this lady is fixing this because this particular pothole in front of the Baikampady industrial area was the major cause of traffic block as there is a u-urn there".

He goes on to add: "How did I bribe her? Well, the bribe word was used to grab (your) attention, (I) did appreciate her work and gave her water and soft drinks and also asked if she needed anything else."

A resident of Kodikere, Padmavathi is attached to the Mangaluru north traffic police, and has been a part of the Home Guards for a year now, and aspires to join the police forces or the Army. After her 10th, she did ITI course and then joined the Home Guards.

Speaking to daijiworld, Padmavathi said that the traffic department had requested the officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to fill the potholes on NH-66 several times, but they did not honour the requests. "The potholes have appeared mainly because of heavy vehicles that take a turn here. Two-wheelers especially face problems at night because of the potholes, and anything happens, it results in huge traffic jams.

"We requested the NHAI officials to fill the potholes several times, and finally, when they did not listen, we told them that unless the potholes were filled, we would not allow heavy vehicles on this stretch. The officials then sent workers with asphalt, but instead of filling the potholes, they just dumped the asphalt and left. So I took it upon myself to do the work," she said.

"The highways in many places like Kulur and others are full of potholes, and bike riders are at risk, especially at night. The NH officials should take the responsibility of filling the craters," she added.

Padmavathi has been presently shifted to supervise the traffic at Honnakatte.

Speaking to daijiworld, Nikhil said, "She deserves a mention and all respect for the work done, not because no one came to help her or it was someone else's job. No blame games. She deserves mention all for the attitude. She did not do this for a fake campaign or to pose for a photo, nor did she do it expecting somebody would post it online. It was just her attitude to make a difference that really moved me," he said.

Indeed, Padmavathi's concern for public safety is a lesson for all, and truly deserves appreciation. Here's hoping against hope that the authorities would take a cue from Padmavathi and wake up, and do their job in making our roads safer.


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Comment on this article

  • Abbas H.H., M'lore

    Fri, Nov 27 2015

    I have made up my mind to do the same. I will engage a cooly, engage a rickshaw tempo, & take materials ready to mix , near the pothole and fill it up. This on roads where I frequent on daily basis. How is the idea.?.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Robert Pais, Mangalore

    Wed, Nov 25 2015

    Along with other readers- I salute thee!
    1.At a time when frivolous issues make national headlines or reach the courts- High time for PIL to use this evidence to take NHAI to court. The dept who supplied the material and the person who dumped it should be placed on suspension. This case should serve as a deterrent to MCC officials also- Fear is a great motivating factor.

    2. If roads are leading to injury and death- compensation should come from NHAI and a years salary of the employees.

    3. Toll booths : have the right to collect as long as they do not have potholes . One cannot take toll and neglect the roads. We need roads what we paid for.

    4. At a time when Incredible India is connected via mobiles and whatsapps having a webpage to upload pictures of bad roads with their google map locations with date and time from consumers( customers, motorists) along side the pictures of the repaired spot by NHAI ( date and time) - serves to gain accountability and evidence. Its not enough to use whatsapp for jokes and entertainment to politics etc. Nationalism and patriotism comes from doing our bit.

    5. Internet is not for elitists. It is for common man - unity towards our city and region makes a stronger instrument than Bandhs.

    6. Inside the city limits : what is preventing MCC to have a POTHOLE ambulance with a website? Is this not a smart Idea for a smart city? Budget it.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn Crasta, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    It's better to wind up the NHAI, a white elephant, a totally useless, inefficient and callous organisation.

    Reforms in India should concentrate of reforming inefficient public sector organisations like NHAI, Air India, BSNL, and many other brother & sister organisations.

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sundari Ashoknagar, Mangalore

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    When Padmavathi was doing the work, men who were passing that side whether on the vehicle or walking could have given a helping hand. These men are fit for only commenting. If I had seen her doing the job, I would have giving my helping hand.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Wed, Nov 25 2015

    @Madam Sundari,mangalore,why do you say others could have given a Hand ,I would do it.Also come on,I am sure there are enough potholes around in Mangalore, specially where you live ,now without waiting others to do ,take a step Forwards and start doing it.others may take your example .

    DisAgree Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shahul, Nellyady

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    Great job Madam ..hats off to you

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • vassu, kudla

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    Most of the lady traffic cops are far better than their male counterparts in managing and regulating the traffic within and outside Mangalore city. They all do their work with utmost sincerity. More of such women should be posted in some roads with heavy traffic especially the stretch between Tajmahal Signal and RTO. It appears as a race track during the peak hours where in all the bus drivers drive recklessly at extremely high speeds. Leave alone helping others they bully the other drivers. This lady Ms. Padmavathi deserves all the praise and appreciation for her selfless service to the general public.Hope by this act of hers the NHAI wakes up to the sad reality of bad state of roads in our city.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Nov 24 2015


    DisAgree [1] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ahmed, Mangaluru

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    Thanks to Ms. Padmavathi for your efforts. But, in out great India most do not do their jobs sincerely. Look at the municipality garbage dept. workers, though they are paid by tax payers money, their work has to be carried out by general public and NGOs for "Swatch Bharath" Mission?

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nagesh Shetty, Surathkal

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    Sincere Thanks n hats off to You Mme Padmavathi.
    The NHAI just does not care .
    There is a heavy movement of vehicles on this stretch and a few Potholes hold up the Traffic creating noise,Dust and smoke pollution.
    The CRATERS at the Kulur Old Bridge hold up traffic for atleast 10 minutes....Will the NHAI /Peoples Representatives...Do something.....Imagine the plight of the Ambulances rushing to Mangluru...God Save them.....
    NHAI...PLs Wake up ....

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roger Lobo , Shirva

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    Proud of you Madam,
    India would have been a better place to live in for all, if everyone would have done atleast their own duties properly. Anyways the authorities think potholes on National Highways are the steps towards making Mlore a Smart City. God bless Them, God bless Mlore.

    DisAgree Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • marol, udupi

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    We each individual should perform our duty well daily then there will be heap of good work at the end of every day. The earth is our home. If we take responsibility and do good then we will get good in return and if we do bad then the return also bad. Little, little good steps, small, small good works from all will surely do a lot of difference. Within one day, by one person may not achieve the desired good. Every day by every person we can surely achieve the good which we all look forward to enjoy. Thank you and God bless every one of us.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • McQueen, Mangalore

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    madam, salute for you !

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Christopher DCunha, IXE/AUH

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    What is our road administration doing? where is the money allotted for the road maintenance is going? Where are the workers?

    DisAgree Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vinayak, Managalore / Dybai

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    Indeed this home guard lady needs to be recommended for honour without any second thought. Thanks to Nikil Pai, who recognised her good motive and attitude. Its time to learn from Padmavathi on our responsibilities of being true citizens.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shekar Moily Padebettu, Udupi/India

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    Commendable job and appreciate your Madam.Hats off to you.Nobody could have done this job but you have shown us the way,how we have to be concerned and helpful to others.You are role model for us and need to learn from you Madam.You deserve not only appreciation but also some state or national level award for your concern,generosity.God bless you.Best of luck.Shame on NHAI.

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Leo Victor, Hubli/Bantwal

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    Great Work Madam, you have set an example of honesty and dedication towards your work. Proud of you madam.

    NHAI is just sleeping, see how bad the roads are they are never bothered to repair them. One more example is the padil railway bridge on the way back to bantwal always block their for useless roads.

    They only know to collect toll and not ready to repair the roads.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    Her foresight and concern for public safety needs to be appreciated in leaps and bounds. Only thing which looks a bit awkward is why she could not do such work off duty. At least to show some respect to the uniform she is wearing and to do the job with some comfort. Through her act no doubt she has sent a clear message to those who are responsible to do more for public safety. Wake up NH authorities.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Devi, Mangalore

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    Dear Madam Congratulations, Being a cop u are teaching us a lesson, Hats off to you, Yesterday i read about a police (man), who helped a pregnant lady in Bangalore and today about you, I really salute u and him, blaming administration is very easy but to do this kind of job not easy. As normal people like me we have to learn from both.

    DisAgree Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • guru, New Mangalore

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    I am just saying a thought which is striked in my mind. its better we shouldn't had free from british rulers. atleast we will have good basic infra structures. now no basic infra structure nor benefit of freedom. in paper we say that we are developing...we are this ..we are that...but we are nothing only to say like this we are something.

    DisAgree Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr Prakash Harischandra, Surathkal

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    Standing Salute to you Madam.. very proud of your commitment. The home guards who are stationed at most traffic intersections on the highway stretch who are doing the duty fabulously . its a misery site they neither have water to drink nor a decent restroom for a break.. its particularly important in the ladies .. Worst is not respiratory protection. People should respect these peoples yeoman service standing for 12 hours a day in the sun exposed to dust,chemicals and peoples abuse and drivers wrath

    DisAgree Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    Shame to NHAI.who never bothered to look after the request to fill up potholes.One blames the other,never controls whether work is done.All of them take a example of this Lady who had done the work without anybodys pressure,thought of public .Thank you Madam.Nation Needs Ladys like you who think of citizens and not Money or praise.

    DisAgree Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    Proud of you Padmavathi. Hope many more of us work that way... world would be much better place to stay.

    DisAgree Agree [33] Reply Report Abuse

  • devdas, mangaluru

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    At the signal lights at Bendoor cross junction , between Balmatta and Bendoor church, there is no policeman posted nor is there an indication that a CCTV camera is installed. But it is a delight to see the disciplined way in which the motorists stop and obey the signals and wait for their turn to move. This includes drivers of express buses who otherwise are rash in their driving. This only shows that basically people are disciplined and when a system is in place and rules are made for their good they will follow others who obey the rules. It feels as though one is in a European city

    Lets SALUTE all the motorists who are so disciplined.

    DisAgree Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alban D Souza, Udyavara/Bajjodi/Mumbai/Doha Qatar

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    Great work by a lady Officer! This is woman power. They are not weak but strong. We salute and feel proud of this courageous brave lady. Good work for the public.May God bless her.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aubb, Kuwait

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    Samaratin Padmavati reminds me of legendary "Salmarada Timmakka".

    Knowing fully that her good deeds could do pretty little against this national disgrace, she has set an exemplary trend, which should take place in every areas of our socio economic life as we can no more look unto the very people we have voted to be our representatives.

    Am sure,
    one call from Padmavati will bring the whole Coastal belt together unitedly to take up road repairs on a war footing on voluntary basis.

    We, the road tax payers should unanimously stop paying taxes for at least one year, so that the useless govt. officials, and good for nothing MPs, MLAs, Ministers of our region will be put to shame.

    I also urge Nikhil Pai and others to join hands with Padmavati, and take the lead for this noble public cause.

    Jai Hind !!!

    DisAgree [2] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • mangalorean, mangalore

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    Great job for sure..hats off go this lady..may God bless u abundubtly n reward u for this honest deed Mam..

    Sad part is we have so many hate comments here when there is a communal or political issue but when it comes to such news, all the losers don't even care except for a few like minded readers..!!

    DisAgree Agree [38] Reply Report Abuse

  • Praveen Kumar, Mangalore

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    A big salute to lady Padmavari for her selfless deed, there by safegarding many lives. My God bless her.

    DisAgree Agree [32] Reply Report Abuse

  • joe Gonsalves, Mangalore

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    Kudos to you Padmavatrhi on a job so well done.

    I wish there would more Padmavathis to make his world a happier place to dwell in.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse


    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    Your Good work greatly appreciated madam. God bless you

    DisAgree Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • Francis D'Cunha, Karnad

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    Madem's value need to be rewarded suitably by the society and organizations.This is really a patriotic service.

    DisAgree Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohammad, Kundapur/Qatar

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    I Salute You MAM ...!!

    DisAgree Agree [35] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohammed Shafi, DOHA

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    Well Done Madam Padmavathi. Hard work always acceptable. I wish you for higher job in future. I hope Your sincerity very soon recognized by ur dept. & will promote you soon.

    DisAgree Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Abdul Rahiman, kuppepadav

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    Really proud of you mam u did a good job for public it should from our political leader but you did from ur self a big salute for you.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Praveen , Kudla

    Mon, Nov 23 2015


    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    Where is Nalin, Shoba & DVS.
    All Useless ...

    DisAgree [15] Agree [98] Reply Report Abuse

  • KRPrabhu, Bluru/Kudla

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    And also where are Baby,Lobo,Bava,Khader,Ivan...?

    DisAgree [28] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    KRPrabhu, National Highways is not a State Subject ...

    DisAgree [10] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • KRPrabhu, Bluru/Kudla

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    but NH passes through state....

    DisAgree [16] Agree [15] Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    KRPrabhu, where is your commonsense ...

    DisAgree [9] Agree [25] Report Abuse


    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    Sweepers are better than these Trio

    DisAgree [3] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • KRPrabhu, Bluru/Kudla

    Tue, Nov 24 2015

    four are working as peons of Siddu..

    DisAgree [21] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Langoolacharya., Belman/Washington,DC.

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    Where are your ribbon cutters and their handbag? don't spit up its going to fall on you only...


    DisAgree [7] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Marilou Mathias, Highland

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    I salute this young lady Padmavathi. agree that its the attitude of ones self. We have to learn from her.

    I thank Padmavathi for this act. May God bless her.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [68] Reply Report Abuse

  • ibrahim, Mangaluru

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    Great role model
    Salute madam
    Finally we get some good news like silver lining
    Hope your services will be recognized with media support

    DisAgree [1] Agree [67] Reply Report Abuse


    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    Proud of you Padmavathi.

    DisAgree Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • For Justice, Abu Dhabi / Ubar

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    This lady is 100 times better than that lady from KARANDLAJE.

    This lady filling the potholes on the road & that lady digging the potholes between the communities by provocative false allegations.

    Salute to you sis Padmavathi...

    DisAgree [11] Agree [114] Reply Report Abuse

  • KRPrabhu, Bluru/Kudla

    Mon, Nov 23 2015

    also lady from Italy...!

    DisAgree [37] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Mangaluru: Salute! Traffic cop fills potholes to make highway safer

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