Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru (ANK)
Mangaluru Aug 11: A youngster, Likith Rai staged a solo protest seeking justice for Aatish who lost his life while trying to evade a pothole on the road near Bikarnakatte–Kandettu cross on August 5.
Likith Rai single-handedly protested opposite MCC on Thursday, August 11.
The public too have expressed outrage over the negligence of the officials in filling the potholes on city roads. The netizens have demanded that a murder complaint be filed against the officials concerned. Some others have vented out their anguish against the elected representatives also.
Aatish lost his life while trying to evade a pothole filled with water. He had lost control after sighting a pothole at the last moment and crashed onto a divider. His head hit against the iron reflector railing on the divider. Though he was rushed to a hospital, he succumbed on the way.
Likith Rai took an initiative of single-handedly protesting, seeking justice for Aathish. Likith Rai is a classmate of deceased Aatish and also a good friend. Following his death, a public campaign was taken out expressing outrage against the officials and seeking justice for Aatish.
Likith said, ‘We will file a complaint against the NHAI as they are responsible for his killing. I lost my friend to a pothole. I don’t want others to lose their life due to potholes. This has to end. We need answers from the elected representatives and NHAI and a written assurance on filling the potholes."
"We don’t have any agenda against any political party. Our demand is to seek justice for Aatish. On August 11, they filled the pothole where Aatish met with an accident but it won't last for long. People have been criticizing the administration regarding the potholes since a long time but the officials and NHAI have not considered it seriously and are playing with the lives of people," expressed Likith.
"The people driving in cars may not know the difficulties as two-wheeler riders do. The spot where Aatish met with an accident has no street lights and sign boards. A toll gate is operating illegally here and collecting money despite Minister Gadkari's instruction that there should be one toll gate every 60 kms on national highways. Where does all the toll collected go? It's tax payers money and we don’t find good roads which are safe.
We are not stopping this campaign. We will stand together in this campaign and conduct this digitally as well as physically. I don’t want people to forget this after two days. I also demand compensation for the bereaved family, he said.
'Show patriotism by providing good roads'
Likith said that the officials concerned or representatives should show patriotism by providing good roads. "MCC is organizing a Rangoli competition. Why can't they provide good roads instead? One life has been lost. Is Rangoli very important? It’s a good thing to hoist the national flag on our houses. Even I love my country. The country is independent only when its citizens are safe and free. When roads themselves are in a pathetic state, what is the use of celebrating independence day?
'Aatish, a good civil engineer'
Aatish was a good civil engineer who was working very hard for a bright career. He lost his life because of bad roads. I have lost a good friend and his parents a son", lamented Likith.
Aatish did not live to see his distinction in BE
"Aatish was a very good civil engineering student and was awaiting his final year results. Aatish's result was out on August 10. He has scored 439 marks in five subjects with 87.8%," disclosed Likith.
Daijiworld had reported on the apathy of authorities where the same pothole was highlighted due to which Aatish lost his life. Since July 19, they have not been able to fill the pothole. The officials had to wait for a life to fill that particular pothole which they did only on August 11.
Joint commissioner hears grievance by lone protestor
MCC Joint commissioner Ravi Kumar heard the grievance by Likith. He assured that he will bring to the notice of the government and NHAI his grievance and ensure that such incidents do not repeat.