Do we require additional bridges....?

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By Philip Mudartha, Qatar
Bellevision Media Network

Doha, 03 March 2011: I am neither a resident nor a voter in India. I have a job in Qatar, what people back home call a cushy one. Till I have that job, I have this luxury of reading about local issues of Belle and comment about them; if the issue excites me sufficiently.


One of the recent interesting debates is the performance or lack of it, of elected representatives of our local body, Belle Grama Panchayat. From what I read, people have great expectations from them. They expect them to work hard. They want them to improve roads and build more of them. They want bridges across the rivers so that the township of  Moodubelle is accessible to villagers from Pamboor, Padubelle, Kabyadi, Dindottu, Kattingeri, Marne and you name them. They want the cleanliness of the township and market place to be maintained. They want them not to party, not to participate in felicitations and not to seek publicity. Tall orders, I must say.


Having set the measures by which the local leaders will be evaluated, the tone of the debate often veers round to negativism: that the leaders will not do anything. They are in it for their own selfish reasons. The innuendo is that they will siphon the public funds devolved for rural development from central and state treasuries.


This negativism is unhealthy and not good for us because it weakens our democratic institutions. The need is not to destroy our system but to reform it. And that can be done by constructive debates.



Let us examine the need to build the bridges at Ankudru, Amavasyakalavu and Dindottu. Though I have childhood memories of these locations, I look at these sites on wikimapia and google earth now and then. I cruise over the Papanashini river from Poyyadapadi all the way up to Attinja. These are the two bridges that I use to get to Moodubelle from Pamboor. No doubt my travel distance, cost and time will be cut if bridges across the river at any or all three locations existed, assuming I would be based somewhere near Pamboor School. That is sufficient reason for me to demand the bridges; in fact, people are saying they were hoping these will be built since four decades. But they haven’t because the local leaders do not care.


Really? Is that ’that’ simple? What is the payback from these bridges? How will the economy of these villages affected if these bridges are built? What produce will they cart to where using these bridges? Would the increased mobility and connectivity bring outsiders as tourists to these localities and increase revenues? What about the precious farmland lost to the feeder roads? How would the private owners will be compensated?


The only rationale for these bridges to nowhere is that these villagers have to reach the administrative centre situated at Moodubelle faster and at lowest travel cost. Are bridges the only viable solution?


Can we look at alternative solution? How about restructuring the Grama Panchayat? How about bifurcating Belle Grama along the course of the river? Between Shirva, Kurkal and Pangla, I make a case to assign a Grama Panchayat to Pamboor. The epicentre of this new administrative unit is the triangular region around BC Rd, Padubelle and Pamboor with Sri Guru Narayan High School serving as the ’downtown’ (or town hall site). There are paved or unpaved motorways leading to every hamlet within the localities, who need these bridges, to access the new administrative centre. Certainly the cost to house a new Grama Panchayat is a fraction of these bridges.


Any takers?



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Comments on this Article
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Thu, May-31-2012, 11:48
I have seen social chatter that the Dindottu Vented Dam tendered for construction in Dec 2011 at estimated cost of 1.15 crore rupees is ready and will be inaugurated tomorrow, 1st June. Does BV plan a story? Please include photos for Dindottu-Kattingeri-Nalkubeedi road, paved or otherwise..thanks.
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Sat, May-19-2012, 2:56
A news story is requested on this vented dam. Construction of Vented dam t Kattingeri Dindottu of Belle Village Taluk District. Request For Proposals Text Interested suppliers Tweet LinkedIn ShareThis General Information Country: India City/Locality: Udupi Notice/Contract Number: ept:6591296 Publication Date: Dec 19, 2011 Deadline: Dec 14, 2011 Buyer: Minor Irrigation Division Original Language: English Contact Information Address: Minor Irrigation Division Udupi, Karnataka India Goods, Works and Services Structures construction work Original Text view in: Tender value: Rs.11451210.00 Opening date of tender: 12/17/2011 11:00 Earnest Money Deposit: Rs.200000.00 Document fees: Rs.2870.00 Please note that this notice is for your information only.
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Tue, March-8-2011, 8:36
The views expressed so far have not caused a change of heart: I still believe additional bridges across belle river are not a priority need. I suggest that Belle GP publish on-line its budget. It should place before the community its developmental priorities, resource allocation and project schedules. If projects have not been taken up due to lack of funds, GP should tax residents and businesses to whom it serves, within the purview of GP Act 1992. Among tax measures, VAT on quarrying, granite mining, river bed sand dredging, all transportation activities, surcharge taxes on turnover from paid services such as catering, event management, building construction services, investment advisory services including LIC and other insurance agencies, etc. Those who exploit its natural and human resources should share a portion of their earnings with the local community. GP should be innovative and bold in levying and collecting the taxes. With doles only, GP cannot invest community development. And one more thing, local elected leaders, please work to make the Block Development Officers accountable to people.
Henry Mathias, Pamboor/Qatar Mon, March-7-2011, 3:52
I have seen lot of comments opinions regarding the local panchayat issues like bridge roads dams etc mostly who works in the Gulf but our locals not bothered about our opinion neither they interested nor they have a internet our locals enjoying their life without tension In Front of them we are nothing we are here working like a donkey we have to wake up early in the morning but our locals enjoying best part of their life, we are called N.R.I. I mean to say neglected residents of India why? we cant have I D card, ration card, forget about the voting card, we are like cats,honestly anybody slap on your face you cant give it back because you are a N.R.I why should we comment there is no use, I know it is a still mystery about Kabadi bridge, I use to travel this route nearly 40 years back now still the same, just we can say pray to God
Anil, Moodubelle Mon, March-7-2011, 2:03
A good discussion about whether to construct bridges or not to construct. Dear Philip, Without bridges, how we bridge the gap? Panchayat office is an option, but bridge at Kabyadi is a must. During my school days most of the people from Moddubelle / Pamboor traveled through this route. With boat service coming to an end people were compelled to use alternatives. Authorities should see the best possible location to construct the bridge.
sadanand moolya, kabyadi Sun, March-6-2011, 11:52
Thank you Mr.Anil for your may aware that last2010 march one new road was started from kabyadi river to pamboor,but it was not compleated .If it is compleated at least 10 houses of kabyadi people can travel or transport goods from that road.So allready 1 year finish.Present Belle Panchayat leaders not compleated this half work forgett 10 years back story.Now road constructed is the nice plan and one corner of agricultural field is used.So it is not problem to anybody,but kinnigudde side road not started upto the river.You may know rich people will move to city area.What about the poor people?same like 50 years back?
Anitha dsouza, Pamboor/Banglore Sun, March-6-2011, 12:53
First of all I thank Belle vision for publishing this ariticle and related to this ariticle on time to time ,at least now onwards people and local leaders should wake up and work for the development of this Pamboor-Moodubelle Area,after reading all these comments i can say that the people of this area are really fed up with the development of this area.AS Mr. Benedict pointed out that the kindi- Anekat was unwated idea at that place , for few peoples personal intrest and benfit it was built there. The real need of bridge is from kabyadi. It helps all the people from all the ways and let us work together for the development of our own village. Thanks for belle vision once again and keep up the good work it helps many people .
Roshan, pamboor Sat, March-5-2011, 6:29
I gifted my agriculture land which would have yielded 10 mudi rice easily every year for the road and bridge project. I can not feed my family now. I hope you would drive this initiative of having a separate admin office once you are back from Qatar. I have high expectations from you. Moreover I am jobless and I could handle the administrative office very well. Please come back soon. Let us do it and build a beautiful and vibrant Panchayat samiti.
Anil, Pamboor Sat, March-5-2011, 2:17
Dear Mr Sadanand I really appricate your intrest in this issue but how many of the Kabyadi people provided their land to this Road ? if kabyadi people would have sacrificed their land for this road it could have been completed 10 years ago. Let them complete the vented dam first then we think about the another bridge from Kabyadi to Moodubelle .
sadanand moolya, kabyadi/qatar Sat, March-5-2011, 12:48
Dear Philip if Belle panchayat or our MLA,MP interested to construct a new bridge it must be at kabyadi area because we all kabyadi people provided our agricultural land for road purpose.we are suffering without road facility to our houses.if this kabyadi kinnigudde road and bridge is constructed it is the main gate way to MOODUBELLE,PAMBOOR BANTAKAL,MARNE,ARBI,HIRIYADKA,KANANJAR,PERDOOR,HEBRI.
Jason, Manipura / Udupi Sat, March-5-2011, 5:46
After reading all these storys of this project , i feel like its become now - charana ki Murgi aur bharana ka Masala. Wake up guys who all involved in this project and correct your mistakes, so that you will not do such mistakes in future when you spend public money which is paid as taxes.
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Sat, March-5-2011, 3:21
I always enjoy unbiased opinions of Philip and this one is no exception. If development is supposed to be what is seen on the picture, it is not worth to be called so! It is not serving the purpose!! First of all, if the width of the dam was double (bridge), it would have allowed vehicular movement, it would have cost little more. Now bridge is done and no connectivity! This is the way public work is being done! It is public money and no dedication from any corner to complete the project and make it fit for the purpose. Connecting roads have canals. A concrete pipe and mud on top of it will make it roadworthy! It will cost few thousand rupees… More important here is, who is responsible for such activity!? I am sure, at present condition no one knows about the ownership of the problem! Our lush green paddy fields deserve better beauty of roads than what we see. Public projects today, are be it central or state is suffering since cuts at various levels and the project becomes a weak step child of short life span. Every person knows about it. Contractor's woes today is getting domestic and construction worker at fair price and proportional work, which is a tough ask. We cannot simply blame the local politicians of any party since situation is beyond their control. However, they may be able to improve it by putting pressure on top. If at all a day dawns where authorities feel public work is Gods work, tax payer will get rich dividends!
stanly, Moodubelle Sat, March-5-2011, 3:03
Dear francis they have money they spent on election to give saris Daaru and brought land for their in-laws wife and brothers.They will not botherd untill next election ,Their Bharath Mahan
Francis Noronha, Mumbai Sat, March-5-2011, 1:49
Dear polititions so called leaders and elected representative, please do not see only your pockets, also see the development of the area and people s need. Please pressurize the higher authority to release money for the development of the infrastructure of the area and improve people s standard of living.
Peter Martis, Gudthottu/Goa Sat, March-5-2011, 12:36
Thanks for raising this vitgal subject which has been troubling me over the years. The issue needs serious consideration and debate
Benedict Noronha, Udupi Thu, March-3-2011, 10:07
The Answer to Philip s question is there in his own write up. The picture shown is the last June position and it is like that only .No no Progress of the linking roads as of 27-02-2011. This kindi- anekat was the unwanted idea at that place. But the real need as at Kabyadi or Dindottu which would link Pambut tp Belle katt5ingere and if Bridg is built at Dindottu the From Pambur to kattingere temple tpo Naalku Bidi and karkala would be convenient for the people of Pambur, kabyadi dindottu Panjimar etc hemlets.It is also almost a centre place from Mattar padubelle bridges through which buses ply. Hence dindottu or the marked place kabyadi is a must and should enable buses to ply so that rural development and convenience and conveyance to rural people. If this could not be done why the Government-panchayath? To hoard money to buy MLA/s and make frequent elections? Instead peoples money for Peolpe s good , rural development. Therefore Bridge at these places, depending upon the proper place is necessary if it is taken up. It must be taken up. I will be convenient to Philip also when ever he comes down and wants to have fast visits to his relatives. He is not permanent at Qatar.
sadanand moolya, kabyadi/qatar Thu, March-3-2011, 12:18
i am 40 years old .my grand fathers also expected a bridge in kabyadi amavasekariya to kinnigudde moodubelle area.but that time they having a small boat(doni)to pass the river.last 12 years we dont have a boat shows how the people of kabyadi kinnigudde area hehave.every village getting improvement.but belle panchayat going reverse also the local people.
loelo, kattingeri Thu, March-3-2011, 11:55
Dear Philip i appreciate your effort. But dont compare two issues together. First the need of bridges. It is most demanded matter by the people across the river from many decades. Second thing regarding making new panchayath its depend on politicians.if you think urgency of new panchayath all the people residing in this region must stand together with the politicians and fight for their need.
Vincent Martis, Belle / Kuwait Thu, March-3-2011, 7:07
Even the politicians want to construct bridges, so that during election time they can say ..mine bridge banaya, yeh banaya, woh banaya.. etc. and beg for votes. If no bridge then people will say ..kya banaya, kuch nahi banaya..
HEMPHIL DUBAI, UDUPI Thu, March-3-2011, 5:56
Antony Menezes, Shirva Thu, March-3-2011, 3:47
It is a good point. But infrastructure is required for the overall need and developement. One has to travel for various reasons, be it for school, college, doctor, feasts, weddings, meet relatives, and so on, there is not end to it. So in my opinion bridges are required.
Anil, pamboor/pamboor Thu, March-3-2011, 3:25
Dear Mr Philip, alternative solution of restructuring the Grama Panchayat in Pamboor is a good solution for all the above problems ! what about our local leaders ? can they work on for this ? The vented dam at Ankudru still not yet completed ,since you are working in Qatar, and u visit once in a year for your native place, it is little hard to you for adjust this place , but the people who are here from decades they enjoy their daily life , it doesn\ t matter how many hours they will take to travel to pamboor to moodbelle .at the same time Development of Roads and bridges is the development of country, so first complete them all the roads and bridges then we think about restructing the Gram panchyat in pamboor .
Melwyn D Souza, Moodubelle Thu, March-3-2011, 1:54
Dear Philip, it is very true and more practical. Let the local leaders work towards this development and majority of the problems will be solved. When they can change the areas of Kaup Asembly constituency and then i am sure they can work on this to make one more administrative centre to solve the major problem .The money required to build these additional bridge can be utilized for the development of the roads and infrastructure. This will encourage the people to settle down in their own villages rather than migrating to the polluted cities.
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