Udayavni Special

7 months since Agumbe Ghat landslide; no repair work taken yet


Team Udayavani, Jan 21, 2019, 10:16 AM IST

Hebri: It been 7 months since the landslides occurred at the beginning and the 7th turn of the Agumbe Ghat road along the Udupi- Thirthahalli National Highway and yet no repair work has been initiated here. If this is not repaired before the monsoon, there will definitely be more landslides here.

Sand bags had been stacked up as a temporary measure soon after the landslides during the monsoon season. However, the temporary measures are on the verge of falling down due to the monkeys and natural causes. The election code of conduct is likely to be implemented during the last week of February post which, there is no chance to take up any repair works. If this condition persists, then further more landslides and closure of the Ghat for vehicular movement is expected as the monsoon season begins.

Temporary repair

Due to the incessant and torrential rains during the monsoon season last year, there were widespread landslides at Mani Sampaje, Shiradi Ghat road as well as the Agumbe Ghat. But the only measure that was taken was through the stacking of sand bags as a temporary measure.

Dangerous trees

Besides this, there are trees leaning down dangerously at all the turns along this Ghat road which have not yet been removed. During the monsoon season, the trees may fall on to the road due to soil erosion. The 7th turn of the Ghat road lies within the limits of Udupi district and since it lacks drainage, during the rainy season, the water flows on the roads. Even though the issue has been brought to the notice of the department, it has been futile complain the locals.

Travelling in the night is dangerous

Sand bags have been stacked to the height of 40 meters beside the road where the landslide has taken place, however they are in a state of damage. The landslide at the first turn of the Ghat and the landslide along with the retaining wall near the sunset point force the motorists to pass through in under a veil of constant fear. It is very dangerous to drive here during the nights.

Unscientific retaining wall

The unscientifically built retaining walls at some places along the Ghat road have fallen down after some vehicles crashed into them. At many places, the retaining walls have suffered cracks due to vehicular collision. The 5th turn in Shimoga section and the 6th turn within Udupi’s limit are pretty dangerous.

Start the Ghat work first

It’s been 4 years since the Malpe- Thirthahalli NH has been granted and yet the process of land acquisition has not been completed. Currently work is being done in between Karavali-Parkla junction. Instead of this, first carry repair work at the dangerous Agumbe Ghat section and escape the fear of losing connection with Malnad Karavali, demand several people.

Work to begin soon

“Soon work will be taken up at the 14th turn along the Ghat road. Planning has not yet been done regarding the 7th turn. Work will begin at this section within the period of a month. As the area after the 7th turn falls within the jurisdiction of Shimoga district, talks will be held immediately with the Public Work  Department and the Engineering Department regarding the solution to the problem,” said Priyanka Mary Francis, Udupi Deputy Commissioner

“The blueprint of the repair work has been created and the work will begin soon. The wok will be completed by the end of March,” said Subbarama Holla, Executive Engineer, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Mangaluru

Fear of cut in connection

“Previously, during the repair work taken up at the Ghat road, connectivity was closed. But now, even after 7 months since the landslide, not repair has been done. Work is impossible once the monsoon begins. If the landslides occur again, daily commuters like employees, students and primarily the patients will find it very hard to reach Manipal hospital for treatment.

Article by Udayakumar Shetty translated into English by Aaron Dmello

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