Landslide hits NH 66 widening work, traffic

The ongoing National Highway 66 widening work between Kundapur and Bhatkal is affected following a landslide at Otthinenne Junction near Byndoor.

A huge of heap of soil which fell on the road disrupted the movement of vehicles for hours. The Byndoor police told DH that the incident occurred around 5 am on Wednesday. However, there was no loss of life as the vehicular movement was scarce. A large number of vehicles queued up on both sides of the road later following the landslide.

The area is receiving heavy rain from the last one week. There was heavy rain on Tuesday too and the unscientific planning of the construction was disastrous, it is learnt.

It is said that hillock, which has red clay and stone crust, has harder texture on the outer layer, but is soft inside. The road was filled with heaps of red clay and the cover of clay collapsed layer by layer and it seemed as if the whole hillock collapsed on the road. The hillocks on either side have been left barren without any safety precautionary measures.

The road clearing work was immediately taken up under the guidance of the police and earth movers were pressed into service. However, as the soil mixed with water was sultry, the clearing operation took hours together. The already exiting road, which was earlier used to cross the stretch, has also been dug to build alternative connectivity.

The police said that traffic was normal by 11 am and IRB Company is now taking safety measures. It is building iron bar based walls against the hillocks and the loose clay within the hillock is being removed to prevent disasters in future. Instructions have been given to the company to build a safety wall in view of heavy rain.
DH News Service

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