Mangaluru: Charmadi Ghat road closed on June 13 & 14 due to landslides

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (SP)

Mangaluru, Jun 13: The Charmadi Ghat road has been closed for traffic on two days, June 13 and 14. Charmadi Ghat section of the highway is known for sharp bends and this time around, on account of heavy rainfall, trees, mounds of mud and rocks have got deposited on the road, making it impossible for vehicles to navigate this road.

Charmadi Ghat road happens to be the lifeline between Dakshina Kannada and Chikkamagaluru districts and on which vehicles plying between the city and Bengaluru are heavily dependent as the other alternative road, national highway 75, has been closed on Shiradi Ghat stretch for repairs and improvements.

The movement of vehicles at Charmadi Ghat was closed for over 24 hours since Monday afternoon. Thousands of people were forced to spend their time within their vehicles, unable to do anything in the midst of forest area and torrential rainfall, without water, food and medicines. They also faced constant threats of hillocks crashing on by them because of soft earth, and the women in particular faced problem in relieving themselves. The situation was further complicated as mobile network too was not available.

However, both the district administrations came in for appreciation for undertaking operations to clear the roads on a war footing. Many locals including social worker Hasanabba from Charmadi not only joined hands with the government departments in clearing the roads but also provided bread, fruits, water etc to stranded passengers. Landslides had occurred in over nine places till Monday evening, and huge trees had fallen on the road at various places. Government buses, private buses, private vehicles etc which got stuck were left with no option either to move ahead or return. The stories of people who spent the night under pitch dark conditions among heavy rain and fear of creatures were fit to be lifetime experiences worth remembering.

The situation had worsened on Monday evening after heavy downpour at Charmadi Ghat near Beltangady and Banakal in Chikkamagaluru district threw normal life out of gear and damaged roads and hilly terrain. By 1.30 am that night, trees and landslides were cleared and vehicles were allowed to move. But landslides were again experienced in several more places, virtually sealing the prospects of vehicular movement.

MP, Nalin Kumar Kateel, Puttur assistant commissioner, H K Krishnamurthy, tahasildar, T C Hadimani, taluk panchayat executive officer, Basavaraj Ayyannavar, and officials of national highways authority of India visited the spot and guided relief operations. Beltangady MLA, Harish Poonja, said that the highway has been upgraded as highway recently, and there is hope of the work on road improvement and widening with other amenities beginning within a year. He said that the road is being closed for two days to ensure that all issues are addressed and the road users do not have to go through such sufferings again. He stated that a meeting of taluk level officials is being convened on Wednesday morning to discuss the issue.

On Tuesday evening, vehicles were allowed to move out of the ghat section. Thereafter, traffic on this road has been banned on June 13 and 14 as the work of clearing mud heaps from the road is being undertaken. Those who are in need of travelling to Bengaluru from the city or vice versa are forced to move take alternate routes.