Special Correspondent

Udhagamandalam: As part of ongoing efforts to restore normality as early as possible in this landslip-hit hill station, the government has decided to throw open the main Mettupalayam-Coonoor section of the National Highway for one-way traffic from Friday, according to Khadi Board Minister K. Ramachandran.

Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, he said the road was closed for over two months owing to several landslips triggered by heavy rain. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had directed all concerned to take restoration steps on a war footing. The damage was set right in two months as against the expected six months.

Since some of the concrete replacements on bridges needed some more time to become firm, it had been decided to allow only ascending traffic for the time being. In about a week, two-way traffic would be allowed.

About ten days ago, the Ooty-Coonoor section was thrown open for two-way traffic.

Replying to a question, Mr. Ramachandran expressed the hope that the damage on the Coonoor-Metupalayam section during the recent floods would not recur as steps had been taken to prevent blockage of stormwater outlets.

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