Udayavni Special

Agumbe Ghat road repair: Snail pace work

21 days pass since road closure and no work has begun at the landslide spot

Team Udayavani, Apr 25, 2019, 8:15 AM IST

Hebri: 22 days have passed since Agumbe Ghat road was closed for repair works and the work which should have been completed within a month is only progressing at a snail’s pace and the public is expressing much anger regarding this. The locals allege that work has not even been started at the spot of the landslide.

During the last monsoon season, landslide had occurred on the 14th turn and the 7th turn coming within Thirthahalli taluk and Udupi district limits respectively on the Agumbe Ghat road along the Udupi Thirthahalli National Highway 169 A. Sand bags were placed as a temporary retaining wall to make way for the vehicles to pass through. After the passing of ten months, finally the permission was provided for repair work. But, instead of carrying out the repair works at the necessary location, work in being done near Anekallu, which is very unnecessary. The highway authority has only placed a repair work signboard at the 14th turn and washed its hands of the case.

Ghat closure for three months!

Although 21 days have passed since the ghat was closed, it is being said that another 2 months are required to carry out the repair work at the 7th and 14th bend on the ghat. Initially is was said that a month’s period of time would suffice for the work and now there is a haunting suspicion that the period may be extended for 3 months. If within the period, the monsoon pours in then the progress of the work will acquaint new challenges. If so, then there is a fear regarding what if the ghat collapses further during the rainy season and completely block access to Karavali?

Why the delay?

In the beginning, it was notified that the work must commence from April 19th. But, since there are massive sized trees which needed to be removed, permission was required from the Forest Department which denied the permission. Later, the forest officials of the sub-division office of Kudremukha wildlife division gave the permission to carry out the work, but without chopping down the trees. It is being said that the expertise of certain technicians was required to carry out the work without damaging the trees, which only led to the slow pace of the work.

Who are affected?

Most of the patients from Shimoga and Chikkamagaluru are depend on Manipal hospital for treatments and hence, ambulances pass through Agumbe Ghat frequently.  But now, since the ghat road has been closed the patients are suffering due to the lack of emergency treatment.

Daily, people used to pass to either destinations for education or business purposes, which has now come to a halt.

Persistent silence from the people representatives

The department’s negligence is the main reason behind the delay to begin the repair work along Agumbe ghat which is the main route connecting with karavali. Where are the representatives of the people who are supposed to question the department, ask the people.

“Since the 5th bend is narrow, we have taken up work here. Later, we will get experts from Chennai and take up the work at the 7th and 14th bend,” informs Manjunath Nayak, Assistant Engineer, National Highway Department

“We have given the permission to carry out the work without removing any tree. If the work has not been commenced within the prescribed time, permission must be taken again,” said Prabhakaran, Deputy Conservator of Forest

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