Mangaluru: For nearly six months a year, travel between Bengaluru and Mangaluru turns into a nightmare . Currently, several stretches between BC Road and Gundya and Hassan-Sakleshpur are dotted with huge potholes due to heavy rain . Netizens have expressed concern on the pathetic state of the road on various social media platforms including Twitter , and a group of likeminded people who have come together on Whatsapp under #Save NH75, are likely to meet Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and demand for permanent restoration of the road, especially the Shiradi Ghat stretch that connects Bengaluru and Mangaluru.
On October 17, Harsha Kollaramajalu explained on Twitter an unpleasant journey when travelling to Mangaluru from Bengaluru via Shiradi Ghat. Six months of each year is a nightmare for travelling between Bengaluru and Mangaluru, he tweeted. At Shiradi Ghat, he was stuck for over an hour, because a bus wheel got stuck in a pothole, leading to a road block. About a 26km of the Shiradi Ghat road is concreted, but another 20km from Sakleshpur is still in a very bad shaope, he said, tagging Union minister for road, transport and highways Nithin Gadkari, chief minister B S Yediyurappa and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel.
Ashvith Bangera, techie and member of #SaveNH 75 told TOI, “It has been almost a decade since the road is in such a bad condition, which is causing inconvenience to commuters. Mangalureans working in Bengaluru prefer to travel back home during the weekends.
Travel time between the two cities that used to be around eight hours has now increased to 11 hours. Travel by train may not be convenient for those staying away from Mangaluru city, and hence the most preferred mode of travel is by road. The pathetic condition of the road will have an impact on the health of those driving on the stretch, and the chance of accidents happening is also high. We hope to meet MP Nalin Kumar Kateel in person, and to ask for a permanent solution to the problem.”
M B Jaishanth Kumar, divisional traffic officer (DTO), KSRTC Mangaluru, said bad roads, especially between Hassan- Sakleshpur and Gundya-BC Road, have led to an increase in travel time, and will definitely have an impact on the condition of buses. “The running time has increased by 90 minutes. Road blocks could increase the travel time, further, making travelling tiring for passengers. The bad road will lead to losses due to an increase in operational costs,” he said.
Jaishanth, who will be taking charge as DTO, Kolar, said that despite bad roads, additional buses will definitely ply on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru route for Diwali.
A senior official from National Highway division said that temporary works have been undertaken, and the department is waiting for the Union government’s approval to undertake permanent restoration of the road. An estimate has been submitted to the government in this regard.