Shiradi Ghat Closing- Rai says ‘No’, NH says ‘Yes’!
In the wake of Shiradi Ghat closing for upgrading work soon, Minister Ramanath Rai has urged National Highway officials not to close the Ghat section, but authorities of NH insist on closing stretch of Ghat section once work starts
Mangaluru: It could be once again inconvenience for commuters traveling to Bengaluru via Shiradi Ghat which is the best route towards the Garden City, when the National Highway department takes up the second phase of upgrading work on the Ghat- and if they decide to close the entire stretch of the Ghat section. But during a Karnataka Development Programme review meeting, Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada B. Ramanath Rai had instructed officials of the Mangaluru Division of the National Highways under the Public Works Department not to close down the Shiradi Ghat stretch on Mangaluru-Bengaluru National Highway while taking up second stage upgrading works, probably during the month of September.
Addressing the officials of district administration, NH and PWD officials said, ” If NH officials decide to close the ghat section when the work is started, it would cause a lot of inconvenience to many motorists and commuters. This Ghat is a very important and busy route for those who go towards Hassan and Bengaluru. I would suggest that the NH and PWD officials should take up works on one side of the road, while leaving the other side for the movement of traffic.”
In response to Minister’s comments and request, officials at the NH Division have said, ” I fully understand the Minister’s concern about the inconvenience that would be faced by the motorists and commuters. But it would be difficult to take up the works without closing down the stretch. Allowing one-way traffic would damage the concrete works on the other side because vibration due to traffic movement would weaken the settling down of concrete. Only 8 mts to 13 mts width (which is right of way on which vehicles actually move) was available in the ghat. The slip paver finisher machine required for concrete works was 7 metres wide. The contractor would have to move transit mixer and dowel bar carrier in the stretch for works. In addition, other lorries/trucks would have to move. Hence the stretch would have to be closed down”.
Earlier the 47 km ghat stretch between Gulagalale (Sakleshpur side in Hassan) and Addahole (Nelyadi side in Dakshina Kannada, the 13 km stretch which is the middle portion of the ghat between Heggadde and Kempu Hole have been concreted in the first stage a few months ago. In the meantime, till the government and NH/PWD officials make up their decision, people have to keep their fingers crossed, till they hear the news of Shiradi Ghat closing or kept open during upgrade work.