Mangaluru, May 16, 2019: Serious landslides on August 13, 2018, at Marnahalli had closed the Shiradi Ghat Road for three months for traffic till November 14. The along the road had caved in on 16 locations on the valley side while hillocks had caved in on 10 locations on the entire stretch.
Except the clearing of soil, which had fallen on the road, placing of sandbags on the caved in areas and tying of coloured ribbon to alert the drivers to be cautious on the road, no other works have been taken up so far since the last monsoon. As such, the Ghat stretch is likely to face landslides once again during the monsoon.
National Highway (NH) section, Public Works Department has not taken any permanent restoration works to check landslides at 26 critical locations from Marnahalli to Addahole in Shiradi Ghat (NH 75), a crucial link that connects Bengaluru and the coast.
The last year’s landslide spots are facing the threat of further caving in this year as they do not have any protection wall. The half slid mud from a hillock, boulders on the edge of the cliff waiting for disaster, make one wonder over safety travel during monsoon. Within a two-kilometre stretch from Marnahalli, there are at least seven to eight landslide-affected areas. Even the metal crash barriers, installed to prevent vehicles from entering into steep slopes, have also been damaged on the stretch.
Sandbags, which were placed on the places where retaining walls have collapsed as a temporary measure, are already torn. As the intensity of rain increases, there are all possibilities of sandbags entering the water body that flows beside the Shiradi Ghat.
According to a source in NH division, the works on soil nailing and micro filling technology was proposed by the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science’ Soil Engineering Department’s retired professor Prof B R Srinivas Murthy as a permanent restoration works. An expert committee had also proposed soil nailing for huge hillocks, gabion wall for medium hillocks and micro filling for small hillocks on the stretch, from sliding further, the source added.
The NH division had sought Rs 35 crore to take up permanent restoration works at Shiradi Ghat. However, the funds have not been released by the Central government so far. Now, the authorities have sought funds from the state government to take up the emergency works. The soil filling work is in progress on the entire stretch of Shiradi Ghat.
The government has released Rs 10 crore to asphalt the road from Kottigehara to Charmadi village in Charmadi Ghat (NH 234) that connects Mudigere taluk with coastal districts. During the last monsoon, Charmadi Ghat was the only road that was open even with mudslides at some spots.