Nightmarish ride on Shiradi Ghat road

Despite crores of rupees released by the government and spent on repairing Shiradi Ghat road every year, the condition of the road has been worsening by every passing day.

Travelling on the pothole-ridden Shiradi Ghat stretch of the Bangalore-Mangalore Highway (NH 75) continues to be a nightmare. Besides buses, hundreds of lorries carrying heavy goods and fuel ply on this stretch. It  is one of the busiest national highways, as the road also connects two famous temple towns—Dharmasthala and Subramanya. The 30-km stretch from Addahole in Shiradi village in Puttur taluk to Maranahalli in Sakaleshpur has been completely damaged, forcing a roller coaster ride for passengers.

The road is filled with potholes, leaving behind only traces of asphalt at a few stretches. With surface of the road chipped off in some of the bridges and culverts, the iron rods that were fixed to support concrete base could be seen.

The road that stretches for about 20-km within the ghat section covered by thick forest, cause hardship to motorists if the vehicle breaks down on this stretch, specially at night.
 “Once we travel on the stretch, the vehicle has to be taken to garage for servicing,” said drivers. It is estimated that the government has incurred a loss of Rs 10 lakh this year, due to the damage caused to KSRTC volvo buses plying on the stretch. Every year the government spends crores of rupees for filling the potholes.

However, the potholes resurface every year. The major allegation is that funds released for developing Shiradi Ghat road is not utilised properly. Poor quality work by the contractors has resulted in the pathetic condition of the road. The State government has released Rs 4.40 crore for repairing Shiradi Ghat road stretching for about 26 km from Addahole to Maranahalli, this year. Though the work on filling potholes have commenced, many feel that the quality of work is no better than that of previous years.

Due to the poor quality of work, the road gets damaged within three months of completion of the repair work, said the residents.

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