COIMBATORE: Tourists visiting The Nilgiris may soon get relief from getting stuck in heavy traffic along the ghat road during peak season and weekends.
To reduce pile up of vehicles on the ghat road, particularly during the crowded days, an alternative road stretch is being widened by the State Highways Department at a cost of Rs 40 crore.
Normally, tourists reach Mettupalayam to proceed through either Kotagiri Road or Coonoor Road to reach Ooty. Therefore, both these roads receive heavy flow of vehicles. It gets worse when these roads get blocked due to tree falls and mudslides.
Though there is another road through Geddai-Manjur, it has been blocked during nights due to wildlife movement. With an increase in tourist inflow after COVID-19, the State Highways Department has taken up works to develop an alternative road.
After reaching Kattery from Mettupalayam, the road runs through Ketty, Gandhi Nagar and Lovedale junction to reach Ooty by avoiding Coonoor town.
“From the existing 5.5 metres, the breadth of road is being widened to seven metres for a distance of 20.5 km from Kattery to Ooty. Though this way is longer by 2.5 km, the vehicles can move without facing traffic hassles, once the works get over within two years,” said an official.
The existing roads bear maximum vehicle movement as a total of 7.5 lakh tourists have visited The Nilgiris during the summer season this year, while the second season kicks off in September and ends in November.