The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), an apex industry body in the state, has urged the Union ministry of road transport and highways to expedite the upgrade of the stretch of road of about 135 km, between Sakaleshpur and Mangalore, on the National Highway 48. According to J Crasta, president, FKCCI, the road needs urgent repairs as it is a vital link between the New Mangalore Port at Mangalore and the state capital.
Presently, the road on this stretch is in a very bad shape following the movement of heavy trucks and LPG carriers. In the last couple of years, the government banned the movement on the road to undertake repairs in the ghat section as the road had become unfit and unsafe for use.
While redoing it, the sections, particularly hairpin curves were made of concrete and the rest by black topping. However, even this was not sufficient and the roads were damaged subsequently due to the movement of heavy vehicles. The road is dangerous for cars, especially during the rains or at night. As a result, this causes heavy damages to vehicles resulting in costly repairs, he said in a representation to Kamal Nath, Union minister for road transport and highways.
NH-48 has a high density of both cargo and passenger vehicles as Bangalore and other districts are hinterland for Mangalore port and many important shrines are situated in this part and leads to many others in this region. Even after commissioning the Bangalore-Hassan rail link, dependence on the road is still on the higher side, owing to tourist and pilgrimage traffic.
The stretch between Bangalore-Hassan is being converted into 4-lane with an elevated road between Bangalore City and Nelamangala, to ease the traffic congestion. In addition, the conversion of 2 to 4-lane from B C Road cross to Suratkal (NH17) via Mangalore is yet to be completed.