TAMIL NADU

Road connecting Kerala with Thevaram soon

Staff Reporter

Collector inspects hilly terrain for laying the nine-km stretch It will help poor agriculture labourers save money and time

THNEI: A long-felt need of farmers and agri-labourers at Thevaram and neighbouring villages would become a reality soon the district administration has decided to lay a ghat road connecting Thevaram with Kerala, according to Collector Har Sahay Meena.

After inspecting a site at Sakkaluthumettu on the Western Ghats in the district on Saturday, he said that the proposed road would be nine km long five km on the plains and four km on the hills. A three-km stretch of road had been laid from Mettupatti towards the forest area. The entire stretch of the ghat road came under the control of Tamil Nadu Forest Department.

The main aim of laying this road was to help the thousands of agriculture labourers of the district working in coffee, cardamom and pepper plantations in Kerala. Hundreds of Tamil Nadu farmers having farms in Kerala would also be benefited. To begin with, a two-metre-wide road would be laid for the convenience of farm labourers.

At present, they have been commuting 55 km every day to reach Kerala through Cumbummettu or 70 km through Bodimettu. They had been spending a huge sum as bus fare every day, while poor agriculture labourers had been crossing the hilly terrain through Sakkaluthumettu to reach Nedunkandam for work. Laying this road would help them save money and considerable time.

The Assembly Petitions Committee too had agreed to table the proposal before the Government for sanction, Mr. Meena said.

Higher wages

Better wages for farm work have lured many labourers to migrate to Kerala, said farm owners in Thevaram. "On an average, each worker gets Rs.100 a day as wages, while it is Rs.50 to 60 in Theni district." The Collector trekked six km on the hills to inspect the terrain for laying the road. The District Forest Officer, R. Srinivasa Reddy, the Bodi MLA, S. Lakshmanan, and other officials accompanied him.