Next, Charmadi Ghat to be concreted


State government seeks Centre’s approval and ₹250 crore funds

The 24-km picturesque stretch of Charmadi Ghat will sport a new look when the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways approves Karnataka’s proposal to concrete the road with a uniform width of 10 metres at a cost of ₹250 crore.

Charmadi Ghat, now part of Mangaluru-Tumakuru National Highway, was in news ever since Shiradi Ghat on National Highway-75 was closed for repair on January 20, 2018, as frequent traffic blocks disrupted vehicular movement. Since it was the next nearest route between the coast and the hinterlands after the Shiradi, almost all vehicles, except multi-axle ones, used this stretch.

Hundreds of vehicles were stuck on the intervening night of June 11 and 12 after landslips following heavy rains at several locations blocked the road. The administration had to close the road for two more days to clear debris and allow vehicular traffic. Incidentally, Charmadi Ghat annually receives over 700 mm rain.

The ghat connects Dakshina Kannada with Chikkamagaluru and places beyond and hundreds of buses ply on the stretch to places, including pilgrimage centre Dharmasthala. It begins at Charmadi village of Dakshina Kannada and ends at Kottigehara in Chikkamagaluru district.

Overhanging bridge

At present, the road width on Charmadi Ghat varies between 6 metres and 4.5 metres, the narrowest being near the Annappaswamy Temple at Jenukallu on the top of the ghat.

A senior official with the National Highways division of State Public Works Department told The Hindu that widening of the road was not possible near the temple as it was located between the cliff and the valley. Hence, the department has proposed a 600-metre-long overhanging road-bridge on this stretch supported by pillars on the existing road. The bridge would hang on the valley-side with the support of cantilever beams, he noted.

On the rest of the stretch, enough space is available to achieve the desired width of 10 metres. Widening does not entail axing of many trees, the official added.

Tourist attraction

Unlike Shiradi, which almost traverses along the banks of Kempu Hole, Charmadi with 12 hairpin curves passes along valleys and mountains offering picturesque view of the Western Ghats. Many motorists venture through Charmadi Ghat, particularly during the monsoon.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 8:10:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/next-charmadi-ghat-to-be-concreted/article24248151.ece

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