Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (SP)
Mangaluru, Jul 21: The protective net fitted all along the Netravati bridge at Jeppinamogaru in the city outskirts is gathering rust within eight months of its inauguration. Unless measures to prolong its life are taking, the money spend on it may go down the drain.
More than 15 persons including Cafe Coffee Day owner V G Siddhartha, had jumped into the river and ended their lives from this bridge. Therefore, under the leadership of MLA Vedavyasa Kamath, Mangaluru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) had erected this 800 meters long fencing costing Rs 55 lac. Both the bridges, one leading towards Thokottu from the city and the other on return route, have been provided this protective fencing. The fencing is five feet over the protective wall of the bridge. The fencing was fitted by welding to the iron rods. At the top of the fencing, barbed fence has been fitted to see that no one is able to climb over the fence.
Fencing on Netravati bridge (file photo)
Because of the saline content in the environment influenced by the presence of sea, iron items get rust very quickly in the coast. People feel that the fencing will survive of thick paint is applied to it often. They also say that the contracting firm should have been told to use things which do not rust like aluminium or steel.
However, after the fencing was fitted, the number of suicides here has drastically fallen. Moreover, CCTV camera has also been fitted and connected to the town police station so that the police can keep watch on the activities here. There has also been a marked reduction in the people throwing garbage into the river as the fencing blocks the garbage bags.
MUDA chairman Ravishankar Mijar, said that the fencing was given undercoating in order to ensure that it does not rust. But because of direct saline breeze from the sea, it is getting rusted. He said that soon the fence will be painted again.