DHARMAPURI: With North-East monsoon season about to set in, residents of Vathalmalai voiced concerns about boulders and appealed to the district administration to strengthen the retaining wall along the ghat road. They also asked authorities to ensure there is no inundation of roads.
Vathalmalai is a tribal hamlet located over 25 km from Dharmapuri headquarters. In 2018, the district administration laid a new road under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). However subsequent impacts of the monsoon coupled with the lack of drainage have affected the retaining walls along the hill road.
Commenting on the matter, S Selvam from Vathalamalai said, “Over the past two years, both the South West and North East Monsoon have been plentiful and this has affected the retaining walls. There are 24 hairpin bends in the route to Vathalmalai and retaining walls are very important for night travel. During the rainy season, they also prevent soil erosion and boulders rolling on the roads.”
“Further, we started to get bus services just two months back and we want the buses to function without any interruption. So, we are urging the administration to renovate the retaining walls,” he added.
R Kaliappan from Palsilambu said, “During the rainy season, the water from the hills drains via the roads and it is difficult to use the roads at that time.”
“Moreover, the sediment dragged by the water would reduce the traction on the road. If a proper drainage system is established along the roadside, it would greatly aid the residents of Vathalmalai,” he added.
Speaking to TNIE, DRDA officials said they will look into the issue and will take necessary steps.