'Shiradi road still not motorable even after 3 days of clearing debris'

'Shiradi road still not motorable even after 3 days of clearing debris'

'Shiradi road still not motorable even after 3 days of clearing debris'

The NH 48 stretch on Shiradi Ghat is almost blocked due to landslide. DH photo

The National Highways division earlier had stated that the road would be closed from January 23 to 25 in order to clear soil and boulders from the road, which had blocked the traffic as result of a landslide. However, public have complained that the highway is still in a bad condition.

The slope beside the road had slid during a drainage work along the stretch last year. The work was going on at an expenditure of Rs 9 crore in October 2009. But the road could not be cleared immediately owing to heavy rains.

The road has been partially blocked by soil and huge boulders. In the meantime, the retaining wall on the other side of the road has been demolished. There is a river beside this stretch and hence travelling here is always dangerous.

A sum of Rs 42 crore had been sanctioned for developing the highway in 2008. However, the ghat stretch went pathetic within a month allegedly because of substandard works. A member of the public had filed a PIL in the High Court  in this regard, following which the HC had ordered a CBI probe.

It is said the Highways Division delayed the repair works in the pretext of the court order. In the meantime, the HC had reportedly asked the National Highways division to repair the stretch temporarily.

The road has been cleared in one place only. But similar situations prevail in many other places on the highway which have been left untouched. The public have expressed their apprehension that the highway may become unmotorable completely if the situation continues.

It can be mentioned here that two lorries had fallen into a river near Gundya in the past three months. The body of the diver of a lorry has not been found yet.

A driver and his assistant survived after their lorry fell into the river 10 days ago. In another incident, a lorry transporting cattle fell into Kempuhole in which four persons were injured and seven cattle killed.

NH replies

Mangalore, dhns:  National Highways Executive Engineer Krishne Gowda said the boulders which had slipped down to the road on June 26, 2009 along Shiradi stretch has been removed during the ban on the movement of vehicles between January 23 and 25.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, he said “a concrete drain is also being constructed on the Shiradi stretch. There is a rock where the work on the concrete drains will be laid. The contractor will remove the rock while laying the concrete drains.”