Landslides order of the day on Burgur ghat road in Erode

Landslides on the ghat road cut off access to 32 hamlets in Burgur as well as to neighbouring Karnataka more than five times so far.

Published: 19th November 2021 11:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th November 2021 11:59 AM   |  A+A-

Huge boulders that rolled down the Burgur ghat road after a recent landslide following rains. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

ERODE: North-East monsoon is just halfway through, but transport has been thrown haywire. Landslides on the ghat road cut off access to 32 hamlets in Burgur as well as to neighbouring Karnataka more than five times so far. The locals alleged that the quality of road expansion work and technical faults as reasons for the increase in landslides.

The ghat road branches off the Bhavani-Anthiyur-Chellampalayam road on State Highways-175 and ends at the Karnataka border at Kollegal. The road is the only access for Burgur with Anthiyur and Karnataka. There are over 30,000 people living in 32 hamlets in Burgur, which is believed to be the biggest panchayat in the State.

The ghat road was extended by construction of gabion walls on one side and sculpting the hills on the other on the 41.2-km stretch from Varattupallam dam to Garke Kandy in Karnataka using `73 crore sanctioned by the Central government in 2018. Apart from this, 310 culverts were laid and the works were completed in March.

Within eight months, severe landslides have been reported on the road. "The hills were cut and a large number of trees were axed to extend the road. We have never seen such huge boulders falling on the road. These boulders also roll on for 400-1000 feet putting heavy risk on the lives. It will continue for at least two more years till the loose boulders fall off and there is grip. The road expansion was unnecessary and done with an intention to enhance commercial interests," said VP Gunasekaran of Tamil Nadu Pazhankudi Makkal Sangam.

The residents point out that rainwater stagnates on the road for a long and triggers landslides. "The culverts are not designed properly as a result of which water stagnates on the road. Cracks have appeared on the road due to continuous water stagnation," said Ranjith, a resident of Anthiyur.

With complaints mounting, Anthiyur MLA AG Venkatachalam directed officials to carry out an assessment of the road and the gabion wall. "I have submitted a proposal to the government as well as the District Collector to check the quality of the gabion walls and rebuild them if needed. Since explosives were used to break the hills, several boulders are come loose. I have asked officials to identify such boulders and remove them," he said.

Officials from NHAI  said the region has been receiving above-normal rains due to which there is water stagnation on the road. They added that building additional culverts would solve the problem to an extent.


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