The permanent restoration work on NH 275 which connects Kodagu with Dakshina Kannada, which was damaged following a series of landslides and flash floods, has not commenced even after five months.
There are also possibilities of further landslides occurring during the rainy season.
The NH connects Mangaluru from Madikeri via Sampaje, Sullia and Puttur.
Landslides had occurred on 30 locations from Madikeri-Sampaje, following heavy rain in August, thus damaging the 25-km stretch road.
The road was closed for 45 days for traffic. Temporary repairs were made using M sandbags and geosynthetic materials. Without the commencement of permanent restoration works, the sandbags are getting damaged with each passing day.
A major landslide had occurred just two kilometres away from Madikeri. The road had disappeared at Madenadu and Jodupala. Payaswini river near Madenadu had washed away the national highway.
According to motorists, the road needs to be developed by constructing the retaining wall before the onset of monsoon. If the road is not repaired, there is the possibility of the closure of the highway once again. Villages like Thalathamane, Katakeri, Madenady, Jodupala, second Monnangeri and Koinadu are situated on the fringes of the highway.
The restoration work should be accelerated, said residents of nearby areas.
According to sources in NH division of PWD, “The NH authorities had sought experts report on road construction and design of the bridges. A five-member expert team had inspected the condition of the road. The preliminary report will be received within a week. The experts had sought the amount of rainfall received in Kodagu district in the last 50 years and we have furnished the same.”
An official from NH said that there is a proposal to upgrade the NH 275 into a four-lane road from Kushalnagar to Madikeri. A sum of Rs 200 crore is required for the development of NH from Madikeri to Sampaje. The road would be developed using the latest technology.
The work on the retaining walls on PWD roads of Madikeri-Somwarpet, Somwarpet-Hanagallu, Konanooru-Makutta and Bhagamandala-Karike stretch is in progress.
An engineer from PWD said, “The state government has sanctioned Rs 44 crore for the construction of the retaining wall and bridges in the district. A proposal of Rs 394 crore has been submitted to the state government for the asphalting of the state highways. The asphalting work will be taken up after the funds are released by the government.”
The officer said, “Landslides had occurred at 60 places on Makutta Road connecting Karnataka and Kerala. The repair work is being carried out as per the suggestions by the NITK Surathkal experts. The government has released Rs 9.30 crore for Makutta Road. The work is likely to be completed by February end.”