Mangaluru, Oct 04 2018: Mangaluru, Bengaluru main road route on Shiradi Ghat was opened for buses, including multi-axle coaches, on October 3, Wednesday morning. After the rubble was cleared, the stretch was reopened to light motor vehicles from September 5. But the movement of lorries, tankers and heavy vehicles is still prohibited on Shiradi Ghat.
Mangaluru KSRTC division operates 63 buses from Mangaluru to Bengaluru and 63 buses from Bengaluru to Mangaluru via Shiradi Ghat, Mangaluru KSRTC division, said the divisional controller.
The 12-kilometre ghat road was earlier closed for upgradation and had reopened for vehicular movement on July 15. Later, as minor work was pending on the ghat, the district administration had restricted vehicular movement for 15 days. Though the road was opened on August 1, heavy rainfall and land landslides forced the authorities to close the ghat road again.
Ordinary buses and goods vehicles had been plying via Charmadi Ghat. KSRTC multi-axle buses operating via Kudremukh took nearly 12 hours to traverse the stretch between the two cities against 7-8 hours via Shiradi Ghat.
Puttur KSRTC divisional controller Nagaraj Shirali said KSRTC operates about 50 buses on Shiradi Ghat to Bengaluru besides eight buses to Mysuru from Puttur division.
Private bus operators said around 300 buses (both day and night) operate via Shiradi from undivided Dakshina Kannada districts. The closure of Shiradi Ghat had affected their operations as they had to cover a distance of more than 438 km. The travel on alternative routes not only caused inconvenience to passengers but also had caused a dip in their income due to additional cost on diesel and maintenance charges.
When Shiradi and Sampaje Ghats remained closed for traffic due to massive landslides, KSRTC operated its high-end premium buses via Kudremukh. With this, the Mangaluru division of KSRTC had suffered a total loss of about Rs 4 crore. “The losses per day were around Rs 15 lakh as an excess of 50 litres of diesel was consumed per round trip (covering nearly 900 km),” sources said.