The curious case of Chikmagalur

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chikmaglurBANGALORE, August 18;  Roads in Chickmaglur district, major portions of which fall under Malnad region, are never in a good condition in any season.

Potholes are indifferently filled at the fag end of summer as if for the record, and they open up soon after the first showers of monsoon.

The district has considerable length of state highways (SHs) and major district roads (MDRs) which not only connect neighbouring districts, but also the taluks within the district.

However, a majority of these are perpetually in an awful state, thanks to the apathy of the Public Works Department.

It has several centres of tourist attraction, including Sringeri, Horanadu, Kudremukh, Kemmannagundi, and Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.

Shankaranarayana Bhat, a consumer rights activist in Balehonnur, said thousands of rupees would be released for the upkeep of Chickmaglur-Sringeri Road whenever “a VIP visited Sringeri.” Except giving some cosmetic touches, the authorities hardly do anything for proper maintenance.

Similarly, SH 66, part of Gangamula-Kottigehara is full of craters. The road has been a major link connecting Sringeri, Kudremukh, Horanadu and Dharmasthala via Charmadi Ghat, Mr. Bhat said. Also, the Magundi-Basrikatte-Jayapura road that connects Sringeri and Horanadu, too has become unmotorable. People from Kalasa find it very difficult to reach the district headquarters via Kottigehara.

Narasimha Raju, a resident of Chickmaglur, said travelling to Dharmasthala via Charmadi Ghat, was a nightmare.

The road, part of SH 64 (Kadur-Kanahngad) till Kottigehara near the district border via Mudigere is in a pathetic condition while the section in Dakshina Kannada district had been excellent, he said.

This two-lane road should be widened between Chickmaglur and Mudigere as the traffic had increased tremendously in recent years, he said.

Mr. Raju said the road connecting the hill station Kemmannagundi and Lingadahalli had recently been concretised, which otherwise was full of craters. Similarly, the road to Bababudangiri too was in an excellent condition, he said. Also, SH 57 (Bagalkot-Yalandur) which connects Tarikeri and Chickmaglur via Lingadahalli and Shanthaveri, had been concretised recently, Mr. Raju added.

Though the road connecting Shimoga-Thirthalli-Koppa-Sringeri was declared a national highway (NH 13-Sholapur-Mangalore) and reconstructed, its stretch beyond Sringeri, between Kerekatte and S.K. Border, has been a single lane and is filled with craters. PWD authorities claim that since this portion falls under Kudremukh National Park and they were not allowed to upgrade the road.

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