|The Dakshina Kannada district administration has decided that there cannot be any partial closure of Shiradi Ghat on National Highway 75, the vital link between Bengaluru and coastal Karnataka, for its reconstruction.|
While there were demands to allow light motor vehicles during the package 2 of reconstruction of the 13-km stretch between Kempu Hole Guest House (Hassan district) and Adda Hole (Dakshina Kannada district), DK Deputy Commissioner S. Sasikanth Senthil has said it is not practical.
“The work should tentatively start from January 15 from which date the entire Ghat stretch would be closed for all kinds of traffic,” Mr. Senthil told The Hindu.
He inspected the stretch along with engineers from the NH Division of the Public Works Department recently upon direction from the district in-charge Minister B. Ramanath Rai. A meeting of DCs concerned has been convened by the Additional Chief Secretary, PWD, on January 6, in which closure dates would formally be finalised, Mr. Senthil said.
He noted partial closure was not possible as the concrete paver machine requires wider space and any compromise in the matter would affect the quality of the road.
Regarding the demand from Puttur MLA Shakuntala Shetty to allow vehicular traffic through Gundiya Junction towards Kukke Subrahmanya and other places intermittently during the construction period, Mr. Senthil said local demands would be considered as the work progresses.
The Gundiya-Adda Hole stretch of NH 75, which passes through dense forest, does not fall under the Ghat stretch.
Many alternative routes are available to connect the coast and the hinterlands, including the Sampaje, Charmadi, Kudremukh, Agumbe, Balebare (Hulikal), Kollur (Sampekatte), Bhatkal (Kogar) and Honnavar (Gerusoppa) Ghats, though bit circuitous, Mr. Senthil said.
The DC said the contractor, M/s Ocean Constructions, should be able to complete the work within five months, before the onset of monsoon.
While package 1 of the Shiradi Ghat reconstruction (13 km between Maranahalli and Kempu Hole Guest House) was completed in 2015 at a cost of ₹70 crore, contract for package 2 was cancelled by the government in January 2017 after the contractor failed to commence the work.
Fresh tenders were called for package 2, excluding 21 km stretch between Gulagale and Maranahalli, which is being made into a four-lane.