Mangaluru: In a relief to people travelling between coastal districts and hinterlands, Shiradi Ghat was thrown open for light vehicle traffic from 6 pm on Wednesday.
The National Highway-75, connecting Mangaluru and Bengaluru, was blocked at Shiradi Ghat after massive landslides in about 48 places between Maranahalli and Addahole last month. The stretch that had been closed for repairs since January was opened for vehicle movement in July, only to be closed following landslides.
As the alternative road (NH 275) to Bengaluru via Mysuru and Madikeri via Sampaje too has been severely damaged due to landslides, the pressure was completely on the narrow Charmadi Ghat road which witnessed frequent traffic jams.
Opening of Shiradi Ghat was important as it is the main and shortest route connecting the hinterlands. On Wednesday, a joint inspection was conducted by the assistant commissioner of Puttur, NHAI project director of Hassan and NH Mangaluru division executive engineer. The team gave its nod for the movement of light vehicles. In those places where there has been a landslide (towards the gorge), the officials have suggested one-way movement.
The Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada issued an order allowing light vehicles on the Shiradi Ghat stretch. But the ban continues on the movement of heavy vehicles.
Officials said that necessary measures like construction of barricades, traffic safety tapes, signboards and cat eyes have been installed on all parts of the stretch.
Vehicles sent back
With reports of Hassan officials declaring the Shiradi Ghat open, over 150 vehicles from Sakaleshpur took this road and reached Hassan-DK border. But as the DK district administration had not issued any order, the officials stopped the vehicles at the checkpost and the drivers had to take alternative routes. Sources said the confusion was because of lack of discussion between the two district administrations.