Shiradi Ghat opens for all traffic; HTVs start plying

Shiradi Ghat opens for all traffic; HTVs start plying

The Shiradi Ghat stretch on the national highway connecting Bengaluru and Mangaluru was opened for all traffic, including heavy vehicles, on Thursday, bringing relief to hundreds of people who had to take alternative routes.

After a gap of seven months, heavy traffic returned to Shiradi Ghat in the Western Ghats. The road was shut for traffic on January 20. Thousands of vehicles, including lorries and buses, returned to the route on Thursday. Shiradi Ghat is the nearest route, connecting coastal Karnataka and Bengaluru. Trucks transporting goods and other vehicles lined up on the route, due to a traffic jam on the highway passing through Sakleshpur town.

The road was opened for light vehicles on July 15, but heavy vehicles were not allowed. However, with the completion of 90% of the works on the stretch, the authorities decided to open the road for all traffic.

The reopening of the Shiradi Ghat has brought cheers to owners of roadside hotels, who had closed their business for the past seven months. All the hotels were open on Thursday, attracting customers.

Speaking to DH, Sattar of Belthangady, driver of a tanker lorry transporting fuel from Mangaluru port to Bengaluru, said, the last seven months were the toughest time, driving on the Charmadi Ghat section, the alternative route.

“Shiradi is the nearest route to Bengaluru and can be reached in eight hours. Whereas the Charmadi Ghat route takes 15 hours, and even 20 hours, during monsoon. There were instances when we used to cook midway and eat due to landslides,” he added.

The Ghat section also attracts hundreds of tourists, who like to enjoy the 35-km drive thanks to the dense forest, rain, clouds, streams and falls on either side of the road.

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