Tamil Nadu

Yelagiri Hills are off limits to unvaccinated visitors

VELLORE,TAMIL NADU: 26/07/2019: STANDALONE: A pleasant weather makes a visitors enjoy the chill on the boat ride at Yelagiri hills, Vellore district. Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy /The Hindu   | Photo Credit: VENKATACHALAPATHY C

The scenic Yelagiri Hills are now out of bounds for those who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19. The Tirupattur administration has made it mandatory for visitors to the hill station to have taken both doses of the vaccine.

A special help desk comprising a team of police personnel and district health officials has been set up on the foothills of the Yelagiri Hills, 12 km away from the hillock, to check the vaccination certificates provided by the visitors. The help desk will be open from 6 a.m to 6 p.m. "The aim is to encourage everyone to take the vaccine, especially the second dose. Door-to-door visits for vaccination are also being carried out to cover all tribal villages on the hillock," an official said.

The hill station is getting a facelift to draw more tourists from neighbouring areas like Krishnagiri, Vellore, Tiruvannamalai and Hosur. Boathouses are being readied for long-distance travellers, especially those from Chennai and Bengaluru. The boat complex has about 15 fibre boats with a capacity of six persons each.

Among the measures being taken are the setting up of more recreational facilities like an open-air stadium, separate parks for fruits, flowers and herbal plants, a botanical garden, additional accommodation for tourists, and better connectivity through frequent buses and better roads.

Spread over 80 acres in Pallakanniyur village, a tribal hamlet atop the hillock, the open-air stadium will have space for volleyball, football, badminton, cricket and basketball, and a swimming pool. The stadium will also have an open auditorium with the capacity to accommodate 1,600 visitors. The botanical garden will come up on 25 acres in the same tribal hamlet. The existing lake will be deepened. Trekking will be organised in coordination with the Forest Department. Night safaris at specific places on the hillock are also being planned.

Before the COVID-19 lockdown, the hills attracted more than 20,000 tourists, mainly from Bengaluru and Chennai, every month. With the easing of the curbs, they are witnessing a steady flow of visitors, especially during weekends.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 12:11:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/yelagiri-hills-are-off-limits-to-unvaccinated-visitors/article37742869.ece

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