With water level increasing across the water spread area of the Bhavani Sagar reservoir, nearly 300 Backward Class families living in four hamlets near Sirumugai here are cut off from the rest of the world with their only road submerging in water for nearly two weeks.
Kandavayal, Alurvayal, Mokkainmedu and Uliyur are the affected hamlets. The residents are now left at the mercy of the Forest Department as the only alternative way is a 1 km-long route through forest to reach Lingapuram, nearest the village outside the forest limits. The affected families are pleading the district administration and Forest Department for permission to use the jungle road which remains unused for over a decade.
Sources said that high-level intervention from Forest Department prevented the forest officials of Sirumugai forest range from opening the road for villagers though they had cleared bushes and shrubs that were grown along the jungle route to make it usable.
“The normal black topped road came under water after a gap of around 10 years.
Now, the residents of these hamlets are in dire need of the road through the forest to come to Lingapuram,” said A.M. Rajagopalan (68) from Annadasanpalayam who owns land at Dandayur.
Two elementary level schools, including one run by Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department, are situated at Kandavayal.
However, students above fifth standard, who go to schools outside the hamlets, are affected.
The residents of hamlets, all agriculturists, are also not able to take their produces to the market.
Mettupalayam MLA O.K. Chinnaraj had visited the forest route last week after the issue came to his attention.
The road was meant for use when the tarmac road came under water, he told The Hindu.
When contacted, a Forest Department official said the forest road, which was initially cleared and planned to open, was closed following the visit by a special squad of the Department from Chennai.
Source : The Hindu.