Madikeri: The Madikeri-Mangaluru highway is likely to be closed to vehicular traffic for days as fresh landslides have disrupted repair work and clearing work. Adding to the chaos, the Somwarpet-Sakleshpur highway developed cracks at Bisle Ghat near Kundalli.
A Bolero jeep toppled due to a landslide near Madenadu, 11km from Madikeri. However, none of the occupants were injured.
JCBs have been pressed into service and worked throughout the day on Wednesday to clear mud from the roads. However, Shri Vidya, Kodagu deputy commissioner, admitted it is tough going as landslides continue to occur. “As soon as one portion is cleared, another landslide occurs,” she said. “It may take a few more days for the road to be cleared for traffic.”
Due to extensive damage and blocked roads in several parts of the district, Vidya has advised tourists to postpone trips to Kodagu. She has declared a holiday for schools and colleges on Thursday.
Landslides have also occurred at Bisle ghat road on SH 85 and Hirisawe Chattalli road — the border between Somwarpet-Sakleshpur and Somwarpet-Subramanya road. PWD minister H D Revanna, who was apprised of the situation, has instructed PWD officials in Hassan to attend to restoration work.
Madapur, situated between Madikeri and Somwarpet, is cut off from both sides due to landslides near Hattihole. Engineers say they will have to wait a day to see if more landslides occur before starting repair work. Officials have advised motorists to travel via Garanduru and Sunticoppa to reach Madapur and Somwarpet.
Meanwhile in Kushalnagar, 40 families at Sai Extension, Kuvempu Extension and Indira Extension were evacuated from houses flooded with backwater from the Harangi and Cauvery. The residents were sheltered in their relatives’ home at Kushalanagar.
Minister in-charge of Kodagu, SR Mahesh, visited the areas in a boat. Independence Day programmes in Madikeri were truncated due to rain. Mahesh addressed the gathering, but a students’ parade was cancelled.