Narrow road leads to frequent traffic jams

Traffic congestion is common on the narrow Guruvayanakere Road.

All roads will lead to Dharmasthala with the Mahamastakabhisheka of the 39-foot-tall Bahubali being planned from February 9 to 18.

The use of National Highway 73 – one of the main links to Dharmasthala – has become a nightmare to many, with its many bottlenecks and narrow lanes. The road, which is also the highway that links Bantwal and Villapuram, becomes more dangerous and chaotic at Guruvayanakere, where roads from Moodbidri, Karkala, Uppinangady and Puttur join the highway.

Vehicle users get stuck in traffic jams within seconds of entering the highway, when vehicles from Moodbidri too join the highway or when a vehicle is parked close to the Guruvayanakere bus stand.

Looking elsewhere

Shop owners have accused the traffic police posted at the busy junction to prevent traffic congestion of being more focused on catching two-wheeler riders without helmets.

“Even the two women Home Guards posted to prevent traffic snarls watch helplessly as the smooth movement of vehicles is disrupted,” a shop owner Vittala said. Ramesh, a senior auto rickshaw driver, said that many representations from residents on the widening of the narrow stretch in Guruvayanakere had received no response from the National Highways or the district administration.

Illegal shops

“The acquisition of land for road-widening purpose is also not difficult as many shops located on the stretch are illegal,” said Wilson Lobo, another resident.

“Sadashiva Rao, the original owner of the land, passed away years ago and in the absence of a legitimate owner, many shop owners filed declarations and got the shops registered in their names,” Lobo added.

Sources in the Zilla Panchayat told DH that the NH had declared the widening the stretch from the present 5.5 metres to 10 metres. The widening of the stretch should were begun in October 2018 but there is no sign of the stretch being widened so far.

Encroachment

The stormwater drain leading to the Guruvayanakere passes under the highway and has been encroached upon.

In the absence of a proper stormwater drain, the rainwater flows on the road at Guruvayanakere, causing further inconvenience, particularly to the pedestrians and the two-wheelers. “Work on a trench was abandoned, forcing us to place stones on the edge of the road to prevent two-wheeler riders from falling into the pit,” said Vittala.

Subbarama Holla, officer at the NH Mangaluru division, did not respond to calls.

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