Puttur: The treacherous stretch of NH 75 between Mani and Uppinangady is known for a number of turns and curves and also several ups and downs in the surface.
It has witnessed a number of mishaps, esp., those involving LPG-laden bullet tankers, plying between Mangaluru and different destinations. The Perne tragedy that took place a years ago which left a few dead and several injured in fire has remained so etched in the public minds that any mishap immediately raises the thought of possible number of casualties.
There are stock reasons for the mishaps that regularly occur on the road. One, safeguards and hazard warnings have not been laid at many points. Two, the drivers of these tankers in almost all cases are from other states, and they are not familiar with the hilly terrains of the ghat roads.
Besides, most of them stay away from their families for long periods, Hence there is always a ‘hurry-home’ tendency resulting from home-sickness, according to social workers.
Among the hazardous spots on this road is the Bedrodi turn. In the fourth mishap of its kind, an LPG tanker on its way from Mangaluru to Bengaluru rolled over and blocked the road in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Driver Hameed and cleaner Kartikeyan from Tamil Nadu were injured and hospitalized. Luckily, there was no seepage of gas. Yet, the police from Uppinangady blocked the highway as a precautionary measure. A tanker was to arrive from Mangaluru. After transferring the gas to the empty tanker, the traffic would be allowed.
Vehicles from Mangaluru to Bengaluru were being diverted at Mani towards Puttur. Those arriving from Hassan were diverted at Gundya to Subrahmanya road towards Uppinangady.
Frequent mishaps of this kind have been blamed on unscientific laying of the highway at points like Bedrodi.