Karnataka: Hillock caves in, blocks road to Nandi Hills | Bengaluru News – Times of India

NANDI HILLS (CHIKKABALLAPUR DISTRICT): Bengalureans’ favourite picnic spot Nandi Hills is out of bounds after a 250ft rocky hillock caved in under the impact of overnight rain, filling up the only approach road with huge boulders and tree branches in the early hours of Wednesday.
The boulders knocked down many electric poles, snapping power supply to the hill station and surrounding villages. A PWD official said the hillock crashed as the soil underneath got loosened due to the rain.
Tourists staying in Nandi cottages were stuck for several hours before an exit road was carved out through the debris later in the day. The forest department has suspended entry into Nandi Hills, about 60km from Bengaluru, till the road is repaired.
The hillock overlooking Ramappa Circle, about 1km from the Nandi checkpost, collapsed as a result of 10cm rain in the area for over six hours on Tuesday night. Besides the approach road from Devanahalli, a culvert and aluminum barricades have been damaged in the incident. There was no loss of life since the hillock is uninhabited.
According to forest department officials, none at the checkpost heard anything unusual during the stormy night. The mishap came to light after vehicles on both sides of the affected site ran into debris of soil and boulders and were unable to proceed. Gopal, special officer, Nandi Hills, said he was alerted by police early Wednesday about the collapse of the hillock — a first in the region. When he rushed to the spot, all he could see was the road covered with mud, stones and tree branches.
Tourists camping in hilltop cottages were stranded and their 12 cars had no way of getting out. PWD workers shoveled off debris and let the tourists pass through, Gopal said.
B Thimmarayappa, executive engineer, PWD, Chikkaballapur, said the hillock crashed as the soil underneath loosened due to the rain. He said 30 metres of the road has been completely damaged. The district administration has decided to construct a permanent bridge in the place of the culvert and this would take about 15-20 days, he said.
Vijayakumar, deputy range forest officer, Nandi Hills, said dozens of huge trees have been uprooted in the incident and the forest and public works departments are working in tandem to clear the debris on the approach road.

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Sagar Biswas

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