Road works to Kathirimalai tribal hamlet to be completed in four months

Engineers involved in measuring a road that leads to Kathirimalai tribal hamlet in Erode on Saturday.

Engineers involved in measuring a road that leads to Kathirimalai tribal hamlet in Erode on Saturday. | Photo Credit: M. GOVARTHAN

With the completion of road formation works to Kathirimalai tribal hamlet in Bargur Panchayat Union, work began to lay single layer water bound macadam (WBM) road for 8.1 km to reach the hilltop.

Two habitations, Madhampatti and Malayampatti, with 76 families comprising 289 persons are located at an elevation of 1,060 metres (3,500 feet) inside the reserve forest of Chennampatti forest range in Erode Forest Division and can be reached only on foot by traversing for four hours.

People have to reach the plains at Kathiripatti in Salem district and proceed to hospitals or market area for purchasing essentials. Their long-standing demand for a motorable road finally took shape when the district administration proposed to lay a WBM road at ₹147.29 lakh under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme from Kathiripatti to Kathirimalai through Esalankadu.

Road formation works, including removing rock surface and boulders and forming a road surface, began in January this year and were completed in June. Work is on to source materials for laying granular sub-base and constructing cross drainage.

Since there were many slopes, concrete flooring would be done at curves, said the engineer involved in executing the work. He said frequent rain in the hill area, loose soil and land erosion delayed the works. Also, tractors could transport only two loads of materials in a day to the hilltop that consumed more time. “We have planned to complete the works within four months if there is no disruption due to rain,” the engineer said. If works were completed, the remote hamlet would be the first in the district to have a motorable road, the engineer said.

Road connectivity would bring change in our lives as students could pursue higher studies and go for jobs. Also, travelling to hospitals and markets or to the workplace would be easy, said R. Devi, a resident.

Recalling an incident, D. Giriyan, another resident, said that a few years ago five men carried a pregnant woman in a cloth cradle at midnight on the forest road who delivered a baby mid way. “We could not proceed and hence we returned home at 3 a.m.,” he said and added how significant road connectivity would be for them.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 4:38:44 am |