Nelyadi, Sep 04 2018: Malenadu Janahitharakshana Vedike warned that if the road is not thrown open for traffic within September 8, Saturday, then a satyagraha will be organised at Gundya and it also warned of calling for a district bandh. The has set a deadline of five days to open the Shiradi Ghat stretch for the movement of light vehicles.
In a meeting organised by the Vedike and villagers of Gundya on Sept 3, Monday, a memorandum was submitted to DC Sasikanth Senthil through Uppinangady SI Nanda Kumar.
Malenadu Jana Hitharakshana Vedike Convener Kishor Shiradi said, “The stretch is good enough for the movement of light vehicles. The ban on the movement of vehicles had disrupted the connectivity between Dakshina Kannada and Hassan districts. Vehicle drivers, pilgrims and merchants have faced inconvenience with the closure of Shiradi Ghat.”
PWD Minister H D Revanna has been issuing different statements daily. The light vehicles should be allowed by September 8, he added.
Shiradi Ghat landslides hair raising, safety absent
Mangaluru: Though officials desire to open Shiradi Ghat around September 10, the width of the road after the landslides, which have reduced it to a single lane at several key stretches, has put a question mark on the safety of public.
A drive through Shiradi Ghat showed the extent of the damage suffered by the road at about 15 stretches. Seven of them may prove to be a threat to the safety of travelling public.
Officials from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said an expert team had been called in to inspect the Ghat and propose a long-term solution. “The road has suffered at least 45 landslides, of which 15 were serious. The expert team that came to study the safety of the road last week could not take up the work due to incessant rains,” said superintendent engineer.
The closure of the ghat has disrupted the movement of people and goods between Bengaluru and Mangaluru. Days after the Kanara Small Industries Association wrote to the prime minister seeking opening of the Ghat, Puttur Association of Civil Engineers (PACE) held a protest along with BJP leader Tejaswini Ramesh against the closure, last week.
NHAI officials refused to comment on the safety aspect, citing that Minister for Highways and Road Transport Nitin Gadkari had set a week’s deadline for opening the road. However, sources in NHAI said they were concerned that the next rain may wash away the road at three stretches, two of them at the checkpost near Donigal.
“We will stick to the deadline. But we are worried about the landslips near Maranahalli and Donigal. The lose soil is not able to hold the gravel and is slipping,” sources said.
Shankar Bhat of PACE admitted that the Ghat was not safe like before. “We know things are not the same any more. But people are suffering. Our request is to open the ghats for light vehicles only,” he said.
He said police should monitor the traffic at places where the width of the road has reduced to less than 10 feet. “Since installing traffic signals may not work, policemen should ensure that these stretches carry traffic from only one side,” he said.
PACE has now written to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, listing out the major problems and solutions. Noting that 12 landslides on the side of the river (Kempuhole) are serious, it has recommended that heavy vehicles be banned till officials widen the road by five metres.