Re-laying work on the much awaited Konanur-Virajpet-Makutta road, which has been closed to traffic for some time, is nearing completion. The Public Works Department (PWD) is giving its final touches to the project.

Nearly 14 km of the total stretch of 16.5 km has been completed. The remaining stretch from Makutta gate towards Virajpet will be taken up after the monsoon, sources said here on Friday.

The road could be thrown open to traffic any time in a fortnight.

The road, which runs through the pristine forests of the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in Kodagu, has been taken up at a total cost of Rs. 28 crore. Flanked by tall trees on both sides, it has been built to carry the load of heavy vehicles.

Inspection

The former MLC A.K. Subbaiah, who had taken the initiative to get work done on this vital road link, was present here on Friday to inspect the progress of work.

Speaking to a team of presspersons, he expressed satisfaction with the work and said that throwing open the road would aid trade and economic activities between Kodagu and Kerala.

Following complaints that the work on the road was taking too long, the High Court had asked the PWD to complete the project by December 31, 2009. But, the PWD had sought an extension from the court.

It may be recalled that Kodagu Deputy Commissioner, K.H. Ashwatha Narayana Gowda had banned the movement of vehicles on the road until May 31, 2010.

Work completed

The road has been raised from 30 cm to two meters at various points before re-laying, Assistant Engineer of PWD Yatish said.

As many as 73 piped culverts and 10 larger culverts known as deck slabs have been constructed along the stretch to facilitate passage of water during the monsoon. At two stretches, closer to the start of the road from Virajpet side — one running up to 600 m and the other to about 100 m — concreting has been completed.

The final step of “seal coating” (asphalting up to a height of four cm from the road that has been re-laid as a final step) is currently being done.

“We can finish the seal coating work in about 10 days, provided there are no rains,” Mr. Yatish said.

Danger

According to authorities concerned, the branches of trees along the fringes of the jungle could pose a danger to the road, particularly on the soft pavement or the shoulders. If “shade lopping”, where protruding tree branches are cut off, is not done, it could spoil the road, Mr. Subbaiah said. But, shade lopping would have to be taken up by the Forest Department, Mr. Yatish added.

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