Drive at your peril on way to Mandakalli Airport

Potholed stretches are a death trap for motorists who use the road

The simple answer is that the Mysore-Nanjangud Road, which is a stretch of National Highway 212, is unmotorable. Although Mysore and Nanjangud is separated by hardly 18 kilometres, it takes almost an hour to traverse the distance.

The road is in a pitiable condition: large craters along the entire stretch are virtual death traps, the worn off asphalt suggests that repair work hasn’t taken place for years and the stone chips are a threat to human life and limbs of they were to ricochet off vehicles’ tyres.

Consequently, vehicles move in a crawl. Where as the speed limit on the road is 50 kmph, drivers, fearing damage to their vehicles do accelerate beyond 30 kmph.
And yet fatal accidents are not unknown. Police records show that almost every week there are at least two to three accidents that end in the loss of human lives.

Usually, motorcycle and scooter riders meet with death when they are run over by trucks and buses who try to negotiate the potholed roads at speeds well over the prescribed limit.

Local residents have also died in hit-and-run cases and yet their numerous protests and road blockades have had no effect on the elected representatives or district administration officials who, more often than not, pay “lip sympathy” to the residents’ complaints.

District administration officials plead that they can do little to protect the road in times of torrential rains. PWD engineers carried out some repair work on the Mysore-Nanjangud Road some time back. But no sooner had the skies opened up that the pounding rain washed away the bitumin and the asphalt -- indication of a shoddy job that was washed away.

The original road, which was laid by the Wadiyars of Mysore several years back, was in a fairly good condition as long as the number of vehicles that plied on it was less.

According to the latest statistics available with the National Highways authorities, about 35,000 vehicles ply the road daily. Trucks laden with heavy loads also use the road, putting undue pressure on it.

When contacted a senior National Highways engineer told Deccan Herald that motorists will have to suffer the terrible road conditions for another month.

He said that after several years the Union Surface Transport Ministry has accorded permission to carry out temporary repair work for a 33-km stretch of the road.
Tenders have been floated and the bidding process will begin on November 18.

National Highways Authority of India sources said that a proposal had been moved with the ministry seeking approval for a four-lane road from Mysore to Bandipur National Park under the public-private-partnership scheme.

Once this road-laying project is completed, the Mysore-Nanjangud Road will be brought at par with the Mysore-Bangalore highway, the sources said, exuding optimism that the proposal will be cleared at the earliest.

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