BENGALURU: The onset of monsoon in the state and heavy rains in Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu and surrounding districts will leave many city residents, looking for a quick getaway, stranded in Bengaluru this weekend.
To make matters worse, the price of air tickets to major cities has doubled and in some cases, even gone up nine times, ruling out flying to the nearest holiday destination. While the state government has declared Saturday as a holiday for Eid, many firms and smaller companies have already listed Friday as a holiday, providing the employees a long weekend.
Employees have been looking forward to this weekend in the monsoon season to go for a leisurely drive and escape the traffic jams of Bengaluru. “We were planning on a road trip to Madikeri, but the resort that we had booked called us to inform that several roads were badly damaged due to rains and landslides. We were told that it would be best to reschedule our plans,” said Kaushik Chatterjee, who works in a data analysis company.
In the past few days, rains have lashed Mangaluru, Kodagu and surrounding districts with the Charmadi Ghat witnessing several landslides.The Shiradi Ghat section being shut for repairs has made travel towards the coast very tough by road. “Even Chikkamagaluru now seems like a bad choice considering that it is raining through the day,” said Christine Joseph, an advertising professional who was planning a trip to the district.
On Thursday, a landslide at the ghat section between Hassan and Mangaluru near Shiribagilu also resulted in the Karwar-Yeshvantpur Express being cancelled. Another train between Yeshvantpur and Mangaluru was also cancelled. In Kodagu, a bridge near Thithimathi was damaged affecting traffic between Mysuru and Kodagu. Consequently, airfares for Mangaluru from Bengaluru, which are generally as low as `1,600, were around `10,000. Over the weekend, the average price of an air ticket was around `4,000. Holiday destinations like Sakleshpur, Agumbe and many other small hill stations in the Western Ghats have also become tough to reach with roads in bad shape.