Residents of Top Station in Bodi block need not have to travel through Kerala to reach their houses near Tamil Nadu-Kerala border as the Department of Highways has planned to lay a new ghat road between Top Station and Bodi town.
To begin with, it would conduct a survey for laying the new road connecting Bodi and Top Station, also a viable alternative to existing Bodi-Munnar Ghat Road. This 19-km-long road would cover around six villages including Indira Nagar, Mundhal, Karattuparai, Central Station and Top Station. The new road would open new avenues for tourism development, said Highways Divisional Engineer E. Murugesan while briefing about the project to The Hindu .
The Department of Highways would undertake the survey shortly as it has obtained permission from the government, he added.
At present, people at Top Station situated on Kerala-Tamil Nadu border had to travel at least 45 kilometres through Kerala to come to Bodi taluk office for all government assistance. Otherwise, they had to trek 15 km through hilly slopes to reach Mundhal check post to board the bus to come to Bodi town.
The new road would reduce the travel distance to just 19 km. On completion of the ghat road, it would be the shortest route to Kerala, said the officials.
Even the revenue and health officials had been struggling to reach the village as it had no direct road connectivity to Theni within the state limit. Local people and officials have been totally depending on Kerala for road connectivity.
The new road would scale down travel distance, save considerable time and ensure easy access to the district headquarters and taluk headquarters, said the local residents.
Above all, landslide was very frequent on the existing Bodi-Munnar Ghat Road which forced officials to close the road often during rainy season.
The State Government had pumped several crores of rupees to remove debris and repair the road after every landslide besides spending for preventing landslides on this road. The road has witnessed more than 15 landslides.
If this ghat road was closed, people had to go to Cumbum Mettu or Kumuli to reach Munnar. Thousands of farm labourers in Bodi and Thevaram areas had been travelling to Kerala for farm work in cardamom estates, said S. Rajesh, a jeep operator.