The road to the mountain station of Ponmudi has reopened | News Thiruvananthapuram

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The road to Ponmudi hill station, which was closed to tourists due to safety concerns related to damage from heavy rains, was reopened before maintenance work was carried out.
Authorities began allowing tourists to visit the hill station’s upper sanctuary from Thursday.
It was in the first week of June that the road suffered damage from the incessant rains. The road between hairpin turns 11 and 12 suffered damage in several places after the soil eroded below. This resulted in the formation of depressions on the road surface. Rainwater continued to seep through the gaps formed by soil erosion whenever it rained, posing a risk of road collapse.
In addition to that, the guardrails at the hairpin turns 18 had also collapsed in the rain.
The district administration acted quickly and banned the entry of tourists to the hill station to avoid possible tragedies. But, only a week ago, the Public Works Department (PWD) received an administrative sanction from the government to launch a call for tenders for carrying out maintenance work.
Police said although the road to the hill station was reopened, entry was allowed under strict conditions.
“There are two parameters to be fulfilled to enter the upper sanctuary. Either the individual must produce a negative Covid certificate, which is not older than 24 hours, or a certificate of obtaining the two doses of vaccination, “said Nedumangad DSP M Anilkumar, under whose jurisdiction the chain is located. of Ponmudi mountains.
He said forestry department officials would carry out checks in this regard at their checkpoint in Kallar, at the foot of the hill range.
The DSP also said vehicle traffic would also be regulated using traffic cones.
In places where roads are damaged, vehicle traffic is only allowed on one lane, which is not affected.
Responding to security concerns, the DSP said that although tourist vehicles were not allowed in, KSRTC buses still served Ponmudi during this time because there were people living there. So far, the regulations put in place have proven to be good.
When contacted, those responsible for the disabled people concerned said they planned to start work within a week.
“Now that the administrative penalty has been received, procedures such as tendering and awarding contracts will be completed quickly,” said a PWD official.

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