Daijiworld Media Network – Puttur (SP)
Puttur, Apr 7: It is learnt that the Rs 113 crore proposal to concrete the Shiradi Ghat stretch of national highway 48 towards finding a permanent solution to the nagging problem of perennial potholes, has been withheld by the finance department of the central government. At least now the people using this road, who were bored at the frequent sights of the crocodile tears being shed by all and sundry about the pathetic state of the road, and also of doling out high promises, know where the matter stands.
Negotiating of the Shiradi Ghat section of national highway 48 is a jittery experience for even the deftest driver. The road, battered over two years back by the movement of overloaded iron ore trucks, has not shown any signs of improvement, even after it was repaired last year by spending a huge amount.
Out of the 36 kms stretch, concreting of 13 bends of this road was conducted last year. The project estimate for the balance 26 kms had been prepared and sent to the central government for approval. Even though the national highways department gave its clearance for this project long back, the finance department has withheld this file. Unless the finance department gives its clearance, this project will not take off. Tender process has therefore, been withheld.
None of the leaders of the state, from the three parties, the Congress, the BJP and the JDS, have been able to convince the centre to clear the project, although they had assured various protestors and agitators that the needful would be done. The treacherous stretch of Shiradi Ghat is so bad that it is almost sure that during this monsoon season, no vehicles will be able to negotiate this road. As per the earlier plans, the concreting work should have been taken up in November last year, and completed by May this year. In the past, it was the story of the funds sanctioned for Shiradi Ghat repairs going down the drain. Now, the project itself appears to be going down the drain. No one knows as to be when the file will be cleared, or what is in store for the people commuting between the Mangalore Bangalore, the only saving grace being the train services that have been running between these two cities.