SAKLESHPUR: Deadlines of most government projects get extended, much to the chagrin of the common man. The concrete stretch along Bengaluru-Mangaluru National Highway 75 in Shiradi Ghat is an exception to that frustrating phenomenon, for it is likely to be completed three months earlier than was expected.The upgrade of the 12.38 km highway is all set to be complete by the end of April, as work here has lately been going on “on a war footing” assisted as it is by latest technology and machines. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had set August 1 as the deadline for the project being handled by Mangaluru-based Ocean Constructions India Pvt Ltd in their memorandum of understanding (MoU).
For over two years, so pathetic was this stretch that motorists had been driven “up the wall”. After umpteen complaints and pleas to the authorities concerned, upgrade of the highway between Kempuhole and Addahole was taken up after shutting it down to the public on January 20.A high-level panel comprising PWD Minister H C Mahadevappa, chief engineer and elected representatives of Hassan and Dakshina Kannada met in Sakleshpur on January 10 and banned the movement of vehicles on the stretch during its upgrade.
Traffic on the busy road was diverted on alternative routes to ensure smooth working on its repair. Light motor vehicles were offered Charmadi Ghat, Kudremukh Ghat, Sampaje Ghat, Agumbe Ghat, Mala Ghat (Kudremukh) or Balebare Ghat, as an alternative to the national highway in Shiradi Ghat to reach Mangaluru and Dakshina Kannada. Heavy vehicles were advised to use Sampaje Ghat. The company is constructing the concrete stretch with granular sub-base and laying dry lean concrete on it with the assistance of latest machinery brought for the purpose from Germany.
The work on the project has been going on in full swing as enough raw material was stocked on either side of the stretch since the beginning. The NHAI decided to construct the 12.38 km stretch in concrete and with the latest technology as the soil is smooth and the percentage of moisture during monsoons high. Heavy rains lash the area for up to six months as the stretch passes through thick forests of Western Ghats, so the thickness of the concrete is being maintained at 600 mm and 74 culverts have been constructed along the stretch.