Madurai

Modi to inaugurate Dhanushkodi road

Security personnel carrying out anti-sabotage checks at Kalam memorial in Pei Karumbu near Rameswaram on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: ; - L_Balachandar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi would inaugurate the much awaited newly laid Dhanushkodi road, which linked the abandoned pilgrim town, more than five decades ago after it was devastated in the 1964 cyclonic storm.

After dedicating to the nation, the memorial of former president APJ Abdul Kalam at Pei Karumbu near Rameswaram on July 27, the Prime Minister would ‘dedicate to the nation, the missing link of 9.5-km-long stretch of NH 49 (new NH no 87) from Mukuntharayar Chathiram to Arichamunai,’ official sources said.

Mr. Modi would inaugurate the road in the presence of Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, while addressing a public meeting near Mandapam camp, the sources said.

Dhanushkodi, the once flourishing trade centre, became a desolate stretch and was declared a ghost town after the cyclonic storm almost wiped out the land strip and destroyed the rail link on the night of December 22, 1964.

Yet pilgrims and tourists flocked the strip as part of their pilgrimage to the Rameswaram island. And they would not mind taking the rough ride in the sandy and marshy terrain in four-wheeled SUVs and vans.

As more and more pilgrims started visiting the land strip, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways came forward to lay the road after obtaining the ‘Gabion boxes’ technology from IIT-Madras to protect the road from high tidal impact.

Overcoming many hurdles, the National Highways began the work three years ago and completed the 9.5-km-long road – 5 km from Mukuntharayar Chathiram to Dhanushkodi and 4.5 km from Dhanushkodi to Arichamunai, the eastern tip in October last at a total cost of ₹ 70 crore.

Even after completing all works and laying rotary at the end in Arichamunai for vehicles to turn around, the road remained closed for traffic as high tides dislodged the gabion boxes in November last year. Later, the NH built a 1.5- km-long sea wall at Arichamunai point and 500-metre-long sea wall at Dhanushkodi point and made the stretch ready to be opened for traffic.

The Prime Minister is also likely to launch ‘Ramayana circuit,’ a project aimed at developing places visited by Lord Ram in and around Rameswaram, according to legend and promoting spiritual tourism, the sources said.

The district administration has prepared a ₹ 50 crore project to develop the Vinayagar temple at Uppur, the shore temple at Devipattinam, Sethukarai, Thirupullani and all the ‘theertham’ venerated waterbodies in Rameswaram.

It also suggested mini-bus services, connecting all spiritual places.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 12:49:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/modi-to-inaugurate-dhanushkodi-road/article19360792.ece

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