Dilapidated watchtower poses danger

The dilapidated watchtower at the Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary near Vedaranyam.

The dilapidated watchtower at the Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary near Vedaranyam.   | Photo Credit: M_ MOORTHY

NICA: 219811864, 219811862 219811860

NAGAPATTINAM: The dilapidated watchtower at Ramar Paatham in the Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary at Kodiakarai is posing danger to the tourists and devotees.

Tourists visiting the sanctuary, set up in 1967, invariably stop their vehicles at the entrance of Ramar Paatham so as to have a bird’s view of the sanctuary spread across 21.27 square km. Besides having panoramic views of the sanctuary, tourists with binoculars can watch the movement of wild animals including black bucks and shore birds, and see the grasslands, mudflats, tropical dry evergreen forest, backwaters, and mangroves.

Hindus believe the footprints at the spot to be that of Lord Ram and visit the site in large number. They also make use of the opportunity to view the sanctuary from the watchtower. But, many of them, nowadays, avoid climbing the watchtower as it is in shambles.

The parapet wall and hand railing of the watchtower, which is about 50 meter in height, have worn out with rusted iron rods edging out. The foundation has also weakened, thereby raising apprehensions among the visitors.

Locals said that the Forest department, which controls the wildlife sanctuary, had paid little attention in maintaining the watchtower. It was in bad condition even before cyclone Gaja hit the coastal areas of Nagapattinam district. It had made a devastating impact on buildings, wild animals and vegetation of the sanctuary. The watchtower too could not escape from the fury of cyclone, although it did not collapse completely.

Forest Department officials said that a proposal to take up maintenance works on this has been forwarded to the government. The proposal also envisages rebuilding five other watch towers in the sanctuary, an officer said.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 10:53:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/dilapidated-watchtower-on-the-verge-of-collapse/article30109740.ece

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