Dilapidated Stretch of Shiradi Ghat is a Nightmare for Motorists

Dilapidated Stretch of Shiradi Ghat is a Nightmare for Motorists

Mangaluru: If you are travelling by car either from Mangaluru to Bengaluru or Bengaluru to Mangaluru, hoping to reach your final destination in time- you are out of luck. More time will be taken due to the nearly a Kilometre long stretch of Shiradi Ghat which is once again in bad shape, even after spending crores in resurfacing the Ghat section recently. This portion of National Highway 48, a crucial link to the coastal districts, which saw a facelift just last year, is in ruins again, a testimony to the quality of work. Coming back from Bengaluru this morning, it was a bumpy ride during the whole stretch of this Ghat laden with potholes etc. Even though various associations have expressed their anxiety over the condition of the road, but it seems like the government apathy in maintaining this crucial link is deplorable.

Shiradi Ghat is a major link to various commercial and religious centres in coastal Karnataka, including Mangaluru, Dharmasthala, Kukke Subrahmanya and Udupi. More than 1,000 cabs and taxis ply between the hinterlands and the coastal districts every day and the plight of drivers and passengers cannot be explained. Even at night hundreds of buses also take this route. Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Suresh Mallappa, a tanker driver who makes at least dozen trips on this stretch between Bengaluru and Mangaluru a month, said even drivers of heavy vehicles like his find it challenging to negotiate the stretch. Broken axles and suspension system have been the common complaints from drivers and owners of heavy vehicles even as the toppling of lorries was a regular phenomenon, he added.

The bitumen surface on the ghat stretch has almost worn out and craters have surfaced on the road, and PWD workmen are doing some patchwork, but how long it will last is a question every motorist will ask. Simply a waste of tax payers money in doing an incomplete. Sources reveal that The State government under the direction of Minister Ramanath Rai has cancelled the contract for the reconstruction of the Shiradi Ghat road as part of Package 2 as the contractor did not begin the work even 13 months after getting the work order. Since the stretch of the Ghat is in bad shape, The National Highways division of the Public Works Department has submitted a revised estimate to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways- but God only knows when the estimate will be approved- until then motorists taking this stretch of Ghat section will have to face the inconveniences and what not?

It is learnt that The National Highways division of the Public Works Department after submitting a revised estimate to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. After getting approval from the Ministry, it would call fresh tenders to execute the work. The work would not be taken up during the winter and summer seasons and could be taken up only after the monsoon, sources said. The department had not maintained the 13-km stretch of the road between Gundya and Kempu Hole Guest House for a year in anticipation of the closure of the road for the reconstruction work. With the road being battered with craters and potholes, the PWD has decided to take up the maintenance works on its own.

Road users, particularly those driving smaller vehicles are trying avoiding the Shiradi Ghat, but for many, there is no other option than to travel on this dilapidated stretch of the road. Until the concerned politicians and officials take up some quick decision to repair this ruined stretch of the Ghat section, if not, once the monsoon starts motorists will be looking forward to much more worst conditions commuting on Shiradi Ghat. And as for now, travelling by car on this Ghat stretch will be just a pain in the ……??

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