Tourists for expedition of Kodaikanal ghat road works

Delay in Batlagundu–Kodaikanal ghat road work near Machur on Kodaikanal hill causes inconvenience to tourists.

Delay in Batlagundu–Kodaikanal ghat road work near Machur on Kodaikanal hill causes inconvenience to tourists. | Photo Credit: G. Karthikeyan

The Batlagundu-Kodaikanal ghat road leading to the hills was punctuated with half-done roadworks amidst tourists sprawling to the hill for the Summer Festival 2022.

A worker engaged in road work a few metres before Machur said it will take another 20 days for that part of the road to be completely motorable since the concrete laid needs time to set.

“For the past month, we have been doing patchworks. But due to sudden rains, the work was paused. We have resumed it now,” he added.

“The timing of road work is off, as it shrinks the motorway leading to congestion of vehicles during the evening especially,” said L Krishnan, a visitor returning to Madurai on Tuesday.

He added that the pauses at a few places made it difficult to go down the hill before the rain poured, which minimised visibility, further adding to the woes of fellow road users.

Out of the six hiatuses on the ghat road according to V Mohan, a cab driver, two around Perumal Malai barely had any indicators or barricades.

One such place hindering movement due to roadwork had a police personnel navigating and alerting vehicles of the impending rough road, while another spot had a feeble red flag tied to a stick.

The incomplete road works located before curves need laying of new roads to smoothen out as it is gravelly posing inconvenience and safety concerns to the commuters, he added.

A fruit stall vendor near the Silver Cascade falls said though he is happy to see the large turnout of tourists after a gap, the roadworks need to be straightened out to manage the weekend rush.

Two damaged vehicles stayed across half the lane before sharp curves along the ghat road dashed onto the hill which were not cleared until evening by the authorities concerned.

When contacted S Swaminathan, Additional Divisional Engineer, State Highways Department (Kodaikanal), said that they took the plunge to carry out road works because the marked areas were weak and needed to be laid with concrete slabs to withstand the incoming flow of tourists as the tourism economy of the hill is slowly reviving.

“We are speeding up the process and will complete it by June 20,” he added.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2022 9:32:43 am |