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Nekkanamalai tribals trek 7 km with body in dholi due to absence of road
The absence of proper roads to tribal hamlets has again exposed the plight of residents of such remote locations.
The latest case in point is Nekkanamalai near Vaniyambadi as residents were forced to carry the body of a man on a dholi (cradle) in the early hours of Wednesday.
Sources said that Munusamy alias Rajini (27), a tribal resident of Nekkanamalai and a construction labourer, who died of electric shock while at work in construction site in Coimbatore on Tuesday. His body was brought by his wife Anjali by car to Vaniyambadi from where she along with relatives and residents of Nekkanamalai had to carry it on a dholi for 7 kilometres to reach their hamlet.
Since the tribal habitation is located 1,200 feet on the hills, locals have to cross a three km reserve forest stretch. As forest officials refused to permission for laying a road, residents use dholis to reach their habitation for any work, including emergency situations, to and from their area.
Around 1 am the body of Rajini was carried on a dholi up the hill. As Anjali swooned midway, she was carried on another dholi.
Officials said they were ready to lay a road if the forest department gave permission. As the forest department remained adamant for several years, tribals staged many agitations, including once attempting to lay a mud road themselves. But this was also prevented by forest officials, sources said.
Absence of proper roads has resulted in tribal areas not getting power or any other basic facility. This problem has also been creating various hardship for the residents including people unwilling to give girls in marriage to tribal youth of Nekkanamalai. Hence, they go for work in various towns.
As Tirupattur has been made a district, tribals are now pinning hopes on the new administration for a permanent solution to their problem.