Mangaluru, Jan 19, 2019: It is seen that the National Highway Zone of the State Public Works Department (PWD) is yet to take up permanent restoration works on the battered Shiradi and Sampaje ghats — a crucial link between the coast and other parts of the State — road users are wary of yet another disruption during the coming monsoon.
The PWD is still awaiting expert recommendations from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), Bengaluru, to undertake permanent works. Shiradi Ghat had witnessed at least 12 landslips along a 25-km stretch, and the entire 14-km stretch of the Sampaje Ghat was affected by the torrential rains last monsoon.
While all vehicles were banned on the ghats for a month, Shiradi was opened for light vehicles initially, followed by buses and other vehicles only by October after battered stretches were temporarily restored. Road users had to launch multiple campaigns to get the the stretch opened for vehicles. Sampaje too was opened for traffic later, with temporary restoration works.
Though PWD had sought recommendations from IISc. in September, it is yet to get it. Sources in the PWD admitted that permanent restoration works cannot be done before the next monsoon. “We are providing satellite images of the ghat stretches before and after the landslips, besides undertaking geo-physical probe of the stretches,” a source said.
G.L. Sivakumar Babu, pofessor from Geo-technical Engineering Division of IISc.’s Civil Engineering Department, who heads the expert team, has stated that expert opinion cannot be given in a hurry as the study requires details on the soil, rainfall, slope profile of hills, etc.
It would take time to take up a systematic study and provide recommendations so that the permanent measures could be carried out effectively.He said the report could be submitted to the PWD in a month or two.