Mangaluru, Aug 24, 2018: With the closure of Sampaje Ghat -- road connectivity between Madikeri and Sullia has remained a Herculean task.
From August 23, Thursday, the Puttur KSRTC division started operation of five mini buses on Sullia-Panathooru-Karike-Bhagamandala-Madikeri route, covering a distance of nearly 105 km.
Puttur KSRTC divisional controller said that the trial runs were conducted. The distance between Madikeri and Sullia on Sampaje Ghat is 51 km. But now, with the plying of buses on an alternative road, the distance has gone beyond 100 km.
He said the KSRTC will operate seven trips from Sullia and Madikeri respectively, to provide connectivity to the Kodagu district headquarter and other enroute villages. It will take more than four hours to reach Madikeri from Sullia.
PWD superitendent engineer Kantaraju said the road is narrow in a few areas and also damaged at a few places. As it comes under the Talacauvery wildlife jurisdiction, the width of the road on a few stretches is only 3.50 to 3.45 metre. Lorries can ply on the stretch. However, the steep curves on the stretch may slow down the movement of vehicles. Long-chassis buses cannot ply on the stretch. The distance between Mangaluru to Madikeri is 185 km.
Though a landslide had occurred at Bhagamandala on the stretch, it has been cleared. The road passes through two states of Karnataka (Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu) and Kerala (Panathooru).
The closure of Sampaje Ghat has affected four villages coming under Kodagu district situated downstream of Jodupala, namely Jodupala, Sampaje, Chembu and Peraja. The villagers and the gram panchayat officials have been totally cut off from the district headquarters of Madikeri. There are several persons from these villages who go to Madikeri every day for their work.
Peraje gram panchayat vice-president Nanjappa said, “For any official work, we have to go to Madikeri. The closure of the road has affected us. On other hand, only buses from Sullia operate upto Koinadu. People have to depend on van service to reach Sullia. We have to travel on Karike-Bhagamandala Road to reach Madikeri, which is a long-distance travel.”
The closure of the road has affected all those who commute daily between Madikeri-Sampaje-Peraje and other surrounding villages. A few private employees have stopped going to work while a few are staying back in Madikeri, either in their relatives or friends house, he said.
Guru, a resident of Sampaje, said, “I was working in Madikeri as an electrician. Now, I am struck as I cannot commute daily.”
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