After confusion, Shiradi Ghat opens for light vehicles

After confusion, Shiradi Ghat opens for light vehicles

Light motor vehicles being allowed on Shiradi Ghat in Dakshina Kannada district on Wednesday.DH PHOTO / B K JANARDHAN

 Shiradi Ghat was opened for light vehicles on Wednesday evening, following protests and confusion at Gundya check-post, which was closed due to a communication gap between the two district administrations that share the jurisdiction of the road.

The police personnel managing the check-post here said vehicles from Mangaluru side started queueing up at 3 am after the previous night’s media reports said the road will be opened from Wednesday morning.

“Around 7 am, we had people showing us newspaper reports that said the ghat is opened for light vehicles. After last month’s landslide, we had a magistrate’s order barring traffic on Shiradi till further instructions. So, we had to stop the vehicles,” the Uppinangady police said. However, as the check-post at Marnahalli was opened in the morning, many vehicles queued up by 10 am. Soon, there was a huge protest by the members of Malenadu Hitharakshana Vedike, who were later joined by the motorists. The personnel at the check-post came under pressure to allow them to pass. “No one understood the problem. Some threatened to call the minister and higher officials. We had no clue as to how vehicles were allowed from the other side,” they said.

Hassan deputy commissioner Rohini Sindhuri said her order to open the ghat road was issued on Wednesday and refused to comment on media reports that led to the confusion. “The decision to allow light vehicles on a trial basis was taken in the best interest of commuters. We are not allowing bigger passenger vehicles even though national highway officials have given a green signal. Traffic police will be deployed at two stretches near Anemahal and Doddatappale to ensure one-way traffic,” she said.

Traffic allowed from 6 pm

Following an inspection by assistant commissioners of Puttur (Dakshina Kannada) and Sakleshpur (Hassan) late in the afternoon, the personnel started allowing one or two vehicles at a time. Dakshina Kannada deputy commissioner Sasikanth Senthil issued a formal order for the opening of the ghat section late in the evening.

The ban continues on heavy vehicles, including all types of buses, lorries, tankers and containers, as the road is not fully restored, the order notes.