Ghat road closure for repair may hit LPG supply to City

Ghat road closure for repair may hit LPG supply to City


Fuelling crisis

It is still unclear whether the district authorities will order closure of the two vital road links in the stretches of the Western Ghats at the same time or at different points in time.

Whatever the final decision, what is emerging is that gas supply to Bangalore  and other parts of the State is likely to be affected as Mangalore is one of the biggest LPG feeders all across Karnataka.

According to Giridhar Prabhu, former president of the Canara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, about 500 trucks supply LPG cylinders per day across the State. Prabhu said, HPCL, Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil Corporation and Elf (private sector) transport as much as about 10,000 tonnes of LPG cylinders by road daily.

In case the two routes are closed simultaneously, then LPG supplies to Bangalore can be fulfiled by diverting LPG-carrying trucks to Mangalore-Mani-Madikeri (Sampaje)-Mysore-Bangalore route the roads on which, incidentally, are also in a pitiable condition.

The district administration and the Public Works Department, worried over the possible fallout of the closure of Charmadi and Shiradi, are busy brainstorming in an attempt to chalk out contingency plans and trying to find out the viability of throwing traffic, including LPG-laden trucks, open to two other routes — Mangalore-Shimoga via Agumbe-Bangalore and Mangalore-Udupi-Siddhapura-Teerthalli-Shimoga-Bangalore.

Since repair work on the Charmadi route and rigid pavement construction projects at Shiradi need to be taken up at the earliest, the their closure may coincide and completely cut off coastal districts from the State capital.

This will not only affect the regional economy but also normal traffic, including long-distance bus services.

Needless to say, diverting traffic to the other two routes will delay LPG supply to dealers in Bangalore and elsewhere in the State and also raise the cost of travel.

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