COIMBATORE: A long pending demand of villagers for a road facility to Bodhamalai Hills in Namakkal is likely to be fulfilled soon.
The 4,000 odd people living in three hamlets at Keelur, Melur and Kedamalai in Bodhamalai hills have been demanding a road facility for the past several decades.
Mainly, pregnant women faced hardship in reaching hospital in the plains during labour due to lack of proper road and transport facility. Also, people were unable to travel down during other emergency situations like snake bites and attacks by poisonous insects for treatment. Students also find it difficult to go to schools and colleges of their choice.
Despite persistent demand by villagers, a road could not be laid up the hills as a large number of trees had to be axed in the forest area. Therefore, the tribal villagers petitioned the National Green Tribunal in 1995 seeking its nod to lay a ghat road for their convenience.
Even as hearing in the case went on for more than 27 years, the DMK in its election manifesto, promised to lay a road to Bodhamalai on coming to power.
“As promised, Chief Minister MK Stalin nominated senior advocate P Wilson to argue the case in the NGT. Within a year, the tribunal had now granted its nod to lay the hill stretch. The Vennandur Town Panchayat has paid Rs 2.13 crore to the Forest Department to grow new trees as replacement for the 360 trees to be axed for road laying works,” said Rajya Sabha MP KRN Rajesh Kumar to reporters in Namakkal on Friday.
Works for a total of 34 km including, the distance of 23.651 km to Bodhamalai from the foothills and another 11 km from Pudupatti to Kedamalai is likely to be taken up and tenders will be issued soon, he added.