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It’s a long trek to bus stop for these Kalvarayan Hill villagers

S.P. Saravanan
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Students, elderly people have to walk five km to reach bus stop

A view of Elandavari, a small hamlet on the foothills of Kalvarayan Hills at Thalaivasal in Salem. — PHOTO: P. GOUTHAM
A view of Elandavari, a small hamlet on the foothills of Kalvarayan Hills at Thalaivasal in Salem. — PHOTO: P. GOUTHAM

Walking five km every day from their residences in Elandavari to Bharathi Nagar and boarding the bus to reach the high school in Siruvachur is an arduous task for 10 students who have no other option as their village with 60 families lacks bus connectivity.

Located in the foothills of Kalvarayan Hills in Thalaivasal about 92 km from here, the small hamlet with 246 people can be reached by taking the five km mud road, that includes two km roads inside forest area.

When availability of electricity was a distant dream for them earlier, their houses glittered with solar-powered lamps and now with electricity powered lights. Their continuous fight for road connectivity was successful after a mud road was formed but that too passes through hard rock areas.

The village has an elementary school, anganwadi centre and also cable connectivity.

But what is lacking is bus facility as elderly people, students and villagers have to walk five km to reach bus stop in Bharathi Nagar.

“We are used to it for many years now, but during rainy season and during night hours in the absence of street lights our situation is pathetic,” says a resident, Ramar. “At times we encounter and have to cope with animals in the forest area,” he adds.

Villagers said that only a few families have two-wheelers and it is the only means of transportation available even during emergency hours. “Reaching hospital, schools or even shops to buy provisions is only through walking,” says a 50-year-old villager. They demanded that at least mini-bus service be operated both in morning and evening hours for the benefit of students and villagers.

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