Mangaluru-Bengaluru traffic hit as Shirady ghat road closed to vehicles

Mangaluru-Bengaluru traffic hit as Shirady ghat road closed to vehicles
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Mangaluru-Bengaluru traffic hit as Shirady ghat road closed to vehicles

Highlights

The Hassan district authorities have announced closure of vehicular traffic on Shirady ghat section for about 17 km between Donigal in Sakaleshpur taluk to Marenahally on National Highway 75 following landslides reported on this sector.

Mangaluru: The Hassan district authorities have announced closure of vehicular traffic on Shirady ghat section for about 17 km between Donigal in Sakaleshpur taluk to Marenahally on National Highway 75 following landslides reported on this sector.

According to Hassan SP Hariram Shankar, "this action was necessitated following heavy rains and landslides in one or two places on the stretch. Besides, the rains have also eroded a few critical curves and even the roads on straight stretches, this condition has prompted the district authorities to close vehicular traffic"

The NH authorities have also confirmed the bad condition of roads and since there is a heavy downpour in the area even repair work will be hampered. The closure of the stretch has affected the traffic between Bengaluru and Mangaluru. On the other two ghats -Charmady(Mudigere-Belthangady) and Sampaje (Madikeri-Puttur) highway traffic has been regulated following fears of landslides and heavy rainfall warnings.

This means all three approaches to the coastal city- Mangaluru have been closed for the time being. The Sampaje ghat is most preferred to Shirady in case of closure of the latter. This is 40 km more distance between Bengaluru and Mangaluru. In the case of Bengaluru-Mangaluru via Hassan-Belur-Mudigere-Kottigehara-Belthangady-BC road is also 22 kilometres more than the distance between Bengaluru-Mangaluru via Shirady. With all the three routes now under a cloud, the only safer way for the traffic between two cities is Mangaluru-Udupi-Kundapura-Bhatkal, Honnavara-Shiralkoppa-Shivamogga-Sagar-Bengaluru which is over 100 kilometres more.

However, the Bhatkal-Honnavar stretch also has susceptible spots for landslides near Othinene ghat, but highway 66 has been unaffected. This treacherous ghat road connecting Dakshina Kannada and Chikkamaluru districts which experienced heavy rains and resultant landslides and closure for traffic last week is still not out of the woods. Six kilometres of roads are still under ankle-deep slush and driving on these roads has become a nightmare. Engineers who visited the Shirady ghat stretch that experienced landslides expressed fear that the loosened earth due to incessant rains on Friday-Saturday is likely to cause mud runoff from the hills and the slushy water might flow through the roads. The Chikkamagaluru side of the Charmady ghats (12kilometers) have normal driving conditions while the Dakshina Kannada part (18 kilometres) including the 10 hairpin bends is not yet conducive for normal motoring say the officials.

According to authorities, the relief machinery in case of flash floods and landslips has been kept in readiness and there would not be another occasion which will force the closure of the ghats entirely. But the advisory on slow movement and the ban of heavy vehicles will stay for some more days, the point out.

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