Mangaluru, Sep 06, 2018: With the closure of Sampaje Ghat (Mangaluru-Madikeri) highway causing inconvenience to people, the Sampaje Gram Panchayat in Kodagu district has submitted a proposal to the district administration to develop five alternative roads.
Speaking to DH, Sampaje (Kodagu district) Gram Panchayat President Balachandra Kalagi said the five alternative roads, if developed, will provide connectivity to the two districts.
The Sampaje Ghat Road is in a deplorable condition following landslides. Even if it is restored, only light vehicles can move on the stretch. The movement of heavy vehicles on the stretch will take some more time, he added.
Accordingly, the Gram Panchayat has proposed the development of Kallugundi-Balambi-Dabbadka-Chettimani- Madikeri Road. Through this road, the distance between Sullia-Madikeri is 72 km. There is an asphalted road from Kallugundi-Dabbadka. Due to the interference of the forest at Kanthabailu, the road could not be developed further. The road from Chettimani side is also developed. At present, there is a bus service from Madikeri to Dabbadka as well. Only about five to six kilometres of road from Chettimani-Dabbadka is spoiled.
Another route is Aranthodu-Thodikana-Thannimani-Madikeri, a kutcha road. The youths of the village have repaired the stretch to make it motorable so as to allow jeeps to travel on the stretch. The distance between Aranthodu-Madikeri is 40 km.
Kadamakal-Galibeedu-Madikeri Road can also be developed. Through this road, people from Subrahmanya can reach Madikeri by traversing 32 km. However, a part of the stretch comes under forest, it could not be developed all these years. About 5 km stretch at Galibeedu needs to be developed. Kadamakka stretch is also the nearest route to reach Mysuru after the closure of Sampaje Ghat.
By travelling 29 km on Peraje-Pattighat-Avandooru-Thannimani Road, one can reach Bhagamandala. Sullia-Kallappalli-Panathooru-Karike-Bhagamandala-Madikeri stretch is the only road which is open for vehicular movement with KSRTC operating minibuses to Madikeri and Sullia. If this interstate road is developed, then it will benefit the travellers. Even on this stretch, about 7 km comes under the Forest Department and 1 km stretch at Karike comes under wildlife division.
“We have appealed to the district administration to develop these roads. These roads can be developed only with the cooperation of the Forest Department. Local youths have developed Aranthodu-Bhagamandala kutcha road," he said.
The closure of the roads has affected religious tourism in Dakshina Kannada district, especially visit of pilgrims to Kukke Subrahmanya and Dharmasthala Temples. If these roads are developed, then it will benefit the pilgrims as well, Devachalla Gram Panchayat Member Shailesh Ambekallu said.
According to officials, Sampaje Primary Health Centre has been providing shelter to 163 people from 41 affected families and Kallugundi relief camp has 78 persons from 22 families. All these victims hail from second Monnangeri, Arekalu, Jodupala and Madenadu. Many of these families have lost their houses, farmland in the landslides and rain.