Thengumarahada cries for bridge, road for 7 decades

The Moyar river that flows through Thengumarahada border, separates this village from the other parts.

Ooty: When travel to space has become an easy affair in this era of technology, construction of a bridge seems to be a tough task in charming and fertile Thengumarahada village in the foothills of the Nilgiris. Lack of a bridge over the Moyar river weakens connectivity of this village to the outside world.

Nestled amidst the woods, hills, valleys and the river, Thengumarahada in the foothills of Kotagiri is a perfect blend of woods, river life, tribal life, wildlife and green land of agriculture. Annakili Unnai Theduthey - this evergreen melody of maestro Ilayaraja's maiden venture into the tinsel world, recalls the beauty of Thengumarahada village where the film "Annakili" was shot.

In this charming jungle village, life and livelihood is centered around the Thengumarahada Coop Farming Society (TCFS) located there.

The location of Thengumarahada is such that it can be reached through Bhavanisagar in Erode district along the Nilgiris border.

The travel includes a nearly two-hour journey on the rugged road amid the jungles of Sathiyamangalam tiger reserve and of the Mudumalai Tiger reserve (MTR). Recently, the Thengumarahada jungles were brought under MTR buffer zone jurisdiction.

The Moyar river that flows through Thengumarahada border, separates this village from the other parts.

Though three trips of bus service in a day on the rugged road from Bhavanisagar reach up to the banks of the Moyar river, even now only a coracle is operated over a 90 meters wide river to ferry passengers and luggage to and fro from the village, as there is no bridge across this river.

At times when the water level is low, tractors and trucks and jeeps wade through the uneven bottom surface of the river. The situation worsens whenever there are heavy rains and heavy flow of water in the Moyar river. The rise in water level in Moyar river almost instantly halts commuting of Thengumarahada villagers as it renders coracle operation difficult. B. Hiruthayaraj, former president of Thengumarahada panchayat, said that this village began to flourish due to its agriculture shortly after independence. For nearly seven decades, the 1000-odd families who live in Thengumarahada have been pleading for a bridge over the Moyar river and a black-topped road till Bhavanisagar for easy passage. But successive governments cite forest laws and related issues, he noted.

Some Greens made efforts to reclassify this village in the past, but to no avail, he said. "Over the decades, government has set up a school, primary health centre and telephone exchange in Thengumarahada. When this was done, why can't a bridge ebuilt? For how many more years should residents here depend on the coracle and rugged road to commute? Government should make amendments to the forest acts to bring the required modern facilities to this village," he demanded.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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