Now, better access for Dhanushkodi

Special Correspondent
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A five km long road link to be laid

Four-km-link: Tourists on a four-wheel drive vehicle from Muhuntharayar Chaththiram to Dhanushkodi.
Four-km-link: Tourists on a four-wheel drive vehicle from Muhuntharayar Chaththiram to Dhanushkodi.

Dhanuskodi, which was devastated by the 1964 cyclonic storm, is all set to get a five-kilometre long road link.

The Centre, which initially questioned the need for the road after a gap of almost five decades, sanctioned Rs 20 crore for laying the road from Muhuntarayar Chathiram, National Highways sources here said.

Tender would be called under the new Engineering Procure Contract (EPC) concept and after the process the road would be laid within 12 months, the sources said.

Dhanuskodi, a strip of land on the eastern end of Rameswaram Island, was almost wiped out in the wake of the December 22, 1964 cyclonic storm. Since then, it has remained cut off from the pilgrim centre of Rameswaram.

For devout Hindus, pilgrimage to Rameswaram would not be complete without a visit to Dhanuskodi, which they consider “Aathi Sethu”(arrow head). In the absence of a linking road from Muhuntharayar Chathiram, pilgrims and tourists take a rough ride in the sandy terrain in jeeps and vans.

As the Chief Engineer in New Delhi had wondered as to whether the proposed road would withstand erosion during tidal action, the National Highways obtained a new design from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) for laying the road, using the Gabion boxes.

Dr. R. Sundaravadivelu, Professor, Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT-M had suggested that Gabion boxes to a height of 2.5 meter be placed on both sides of the road and geo-textile layer be placed on the inner side of the boxes to avoid ingress of seawater. Satisfied with the report, the Ministry of Road Transport and highways has sanctioned the project, the sources added. Meanwhile, the Highways Department has given work order to the Chennai-based Trinity and Co. for undertaking repairs of the Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge (Pamban Road Bridge), connecting Rameswaram to the mainland.

The 2.345 km long bridge would be repaired at a cost of Rs 18.30 crore, the sources said. The scope of the work includes repainting of the entire bridge with anti-corrosive paint, provision of strip seal expansion joints, finger joints, CC wearing course and crack sealing. The bridge was last repainted in 1990 and 2001-02, the sources added.



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