It’s a dreadful trip to Mangaluru during rain

It’s a dreadful trip to Mangaluru during rain

A view of River Kumaradhara in Uppinangadi on Friday. Photo/ Govindraj Javali

Commuters travelling towards Mangaluru, especially those who depend on railways, dread monsoon when roads are filled with potholes and the railway line is blocked by landslides.

Landslides also result in cancellation of trains, affecting travel plans of at least 6,000 to 9,000 passengers everyday. As many as 15 trains were cancelled from June this year due to which the South Western Railway (SWR) suffered a loss of Rs 49.6 lakh. “The average duration for clearing each landslip is about five hours. Nearly 180 hours have been been spent this monsoon to clear section of landslides that disrupted train traffic. Besides, men and material are mobilised to reduce restoration time to the least possible,” SWR Chief PRO E Vijaya said.

Karnataka Railway Vedike’s Krishna Prasad said regular travellers avoid railways during monsoon. “Landslides are unforeseen and regular travellers of two trains to Mangaluru make other arrangements. Most of the commuters of day train from Bengaluru are those travelling to Subramanya and they switch to road transport.”

Vijaya said the Railways are taking up works to ensure that tracks would not be affected by landslips. “Tenders have been floated for Rs 12 crore-works, including secured drapery system, dynamic rock-fall barriers, cable ropes with anchor system. Loose rocks will be scaled and vegetation in the area would be cleared to minimize chances of landslides.”

KSRTC officials said buses that ply towards Mangaluru require more maintenance during monsoon. “The cost of operation also goes up as vehicles are diverted on longer routes,” an official said.

Praveen K said the road route via Sakleshpur has been safer after the opening of the Shiradi Ghat last month. “However, before and after the Ghat, the road remains treacherous. A moment of lapse can land one in trouble. I usually book a KSRTC bus rather than my car during monsoon.”

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