Shiradi Ghat Closing from Jan 20 will be a Nightmare for Motorists/Commuters
Mangaluru: Shiradi Ghat is once again in bad shape, even after spending crores in resurfacing the Ghat section last year. This portion of National Highway 48, a crucial link to the coastal districts, which saw a face lift just last year, is in ruins again, a testimony to the quality of work. 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. And now 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, has finally got an approval from the Ministry, and the work would be taken up starting 20 January- and that means once again, it is nightmare reaching to Bengaluru from Mangalure or vice versa. With the road being battered with craters and potholes, the PWD has decided to take up the maintenance works on its own.
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 toppling of lorries was a regular phenomenon, he added.
It is learnt that National Highway division of PWD has now issued a circular banning the movement of all vehicles on Mangaluru – Bengaluru NH 75 Shiradi Ghat stretch from January 20, until further notice. Movement of all vehicles on the highway from Maranahalli in Sakleshpur to Gundya in Puttur has been banned to facilitate the development of Shiradi Ghat road. The work order has been given to develop Shiradi Ghat road stretch on Mangaluru – Bengaluru route from Kempuhole Guest House to Addahole. Hence, vehicles will not be allowed to ply between Maranahalli and Gundya from 6am on January 20 till the end of the work or until further notice.
NH division stated in a release that vehicles may take alternative routes till the development of Shiradi completes. Light motor vehicles (ordinary buses, jeeps, vans, light commercial vehicles and two-wheelers) may ply on Hassan – Belur – Mudigere – Charmadi Ghat – Belthangadi – Ujire – B C Road – Mangaluru route. Similarly, such vehicles may ply on Hassan – Sakleshpur – Anemahal – Hanbal – Chennapura – Moodigere – Charmadi Ghat – Belthangadi – Ujire – B C Road – Mangaluru route; Hassan – Mudigere – Kottigehara – Kalasa – Kudremukh – Malaghat – Karkala – Udupi – Mangaluru route. Similarly, from Mangaluru light motor vehicles may take B C Road – Puttur – Madikeri – Hunsur – Mysuru – Mandya – Ramnagar – Bengaluru route and from Bengaluru via Shivamogga – Ayanur – Hosanagara – Masthikatte – Balebareghat – Hosangadi – Siddapura – Kundapura route.
Meanwhile, heavy vehicles (KSRTC Rajahamsa, Airavat, luxury buses, bullet tankers, cargo containers and all long chasis vehicles) may ply on B C Road – Mani – Puttur – Madikeri – Hunsur – K R Nagar – Holenarasipura – Hassan route; B C Road – Mani – Puttur – Madikeri – Hunsur – Mysuru – Mandya – Ramnagar – Bengaluru route. Similarly, heavy vehicles may also ply from Bengaluru via Nelamangala – Shivamogga – Sagar – Honnavar – Murdeshwara – Kundapur – Udupi – Mangaluru route. The second phase of work includes providing rigid pavement from Kempuhole to Addahole and strengthening from Gulagalale to Maranahalli on Shiradi Ghat.
So if you are planning your trip to Bengaluru from Mangaluru or vice versa, and other destinations which are via Shiradi Ghat, start early so that you can reach your destination due to alternate routes that you may have to take. Happy journey!
Note: Photos used for illustrations only