Bantwal, Jan 17, 2020: National Highway 275, which links Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada districts, has turned out to be a nightmare for motorists and travellers. After the landslides in August 2018, the stretch between Madikeri and Sampaje of NH 275 was damaged at several places. But 17 months after this, the National Highway (NH) division of the PWD has not done any permanent restoration works.
The stretch of the highway is vulnerable to natural disasters, say local residents. During the last rainy season, vehicular movement on the highway was halted for a couple of days, owing to minor landslides. The damages can be severe if the Payaswini river overflows. Businessmen in Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu districts fear loss of business if there are landslides on a large scale.
The Madikeri-Sampaje Ghat road links the coastal districts to other parts of the state whenever the Charmadi and Shiradi Ghats are blocked. People from these districts can travel to Mysuru and Bengaluru via Sampaje Ghat. Major commodities such as fuel are transported to Kodagu via the coastal districts.
Damaged portions of the Madikeri-Sampaje route still cause fear among people travelling on the stretch.
Ranjan, a resident of Madenadu, said temporary roads too may get damaged due to the movement of heavy vehicles. He demanded that the authorities should repair the road before the rainy season. The stretch of the highway is the only route to reach Made, Madenadu, second Monnangeri, Jodupala and Katakeri villages, he said.
The condition of Perumbadi-Makutta inter-state road is no better. The road connects the district to Kerala, via Virajpet.
During official meetings, MLA K G Bopaiah had alleged that forest officials had been posing obstructions to the repair work.
An engineer from the national highway division said that a grant of Rs 58 crore had been sanctioned by the government for permanent restoration works. Tenders have been floated for the work. A Bengaluru-based organisation has come up with a design for the retaining walls. Unless better attention is paid in this case, before impending SW monsoons, it will prove to be a major road block.