Amazing ride on 27 Hairpin Bends – Coimbatore to Mysore
Dhimbam Ghat Road that connects Tamil Nadu and Karnataka has turned into a nightmare for motorists as the protection wall on the roadside is completely damaged making it accident-prone.
Dhimbam Ghat Road, with 27 hairpin bends, is the primary route for truckers carrying goods from Tamil Nadu and Kerala to northern states via Mysuru in Karnataka. Similarly, trucks carrying steels, cements and pulses from northern states to southern parts of the country also use the route. The heavy traffic leaves the road battered, despite the periodic repair and maintenance work.
The ghat road is usually crowded with vehicles and often sees accidents. According to motorists, officials attached to both national and state highways departments haven’t taken any step to curb the accident rate or improve the condition of the road, despite several petitions in this regard.
Video – LAHABUR RAHMAN
“A large chunk of the protection wall on the roadside is completely damaged and the highways department officials haven’t taken any initiative to repair or rebuild the walls,” said M Karthikeyan, a truck driver.
The ghat road sees heavy vehicular movement even late at night. But, there are no street lights on the stretch and motorists have to solely rely on the vehicle headlight. To add to it, there isn’t protection wall on the roadside. “If drivers were to lose control over their vehicles, they will fall in the gorge,” said K Mathaiyan, another driver.
Environmentalists, meanwhile, pointed out that heavy over-loaded vehicles have been taking a toll on the 14km long ghat road, severely damaging the entire stretch. As the accident rate had gone up on the stretch, Erode district administration, police and forest department officials had jointly decided to ban overloaded trucks on the ghat road from January 1, 2016. As per the rules, only vehicles carrying a load of up to 16.2 tonnes were to be permitted on the ghat road. “But, trucks carrying loads up to 30 tonnes frequently ply in the ghat section,” said K Manimaran, an environmentalist.
When contacted, highways department officials said the state government had recently processed their letter seeking permission to widen the road. “We had shot off a letter to the government seeking permission to widen the road. After funds are allocated, we will initiate the work,” said an official, who did not want to be named.