On Monday, a group of tribals from Kallampalayam was forced to wade through hip deep water in Moyar river carrying the body of a 65-year-old woman on their shoulders in a palanquin for cremation. The deceased Rami, wife of Divanan was taken to her native Karikkoor village near Sholurmattam in The Nilgiris for the final rites. The absence of a bridge to cross over the Moyar River has been a long pending issue for the 3,000 odd people settled in Thengumarahada, Allimayar, Kallampalayam and Pudhukaadu. These places have been cut off over the last one week as heavy rains in The Nilgiris led to flooding in Moyar River.
“Due to the lack of a bridge, the villagers and students rely on coracle services to cross the river. It is dangerous at times, as just last week, a coracle capsized and four men from Kallampalayam fell into the flooded river. Luckily, they swam to the shore. A bridge has been our long time demand,” said K Gopalakrishnan, a resident of Thengumarahada.
Thengumarahada panchayat president Sughuna Manoharan said that the villagers have been fighting for a bridge across Moyar river for the past decade. “Last Sunday, I petitioned Forest Minister K Ramachandran demanding that a bridge be constructed. I plan to take up the issue with Chief Minister MK Stalin in a few days,” she added.