Locals warn that the NHAI expansion work will cause a landslide very soon
The expansion works of the National Highway 85 connecting Kochi and Dhanushkodi through Munnar and Madurai, has been under works for close to two years now.
With inclement weather and landslides proving obstacles in the Gap Road section in Munnar, the work had hit a dead end this year and two lives were lost in the landslides which ended up devouring the pre-existing road itself.
Succumbing to pressure from the local politicians and businessmen who are facing severe fall in footfalls for the second consecutive year, the roads have been opened for traffic since Christmas.
But the plight of the road begs answers.
Treacherously hanging cliffs overhead, washed away slopes with loose gravel and boulders, and open wounds of fresh landslides is what awaits those taking these roads.
Unaware, the tourists are trickling in, bringing more business to Munnar.
While locals are vary of spending too long a time on the road owing to risk of an impending landslide, which they say will happen soon, those taking these roads are oblivious to the risks.
Notwithstanding the dangers the road itself poses, locals also question the need of a mega wide road expansion on a slope as treacherous as the Gap Road.
While building restrictions for anything from houses to shops and hotels are being imposed on locals, where are the authorities when such wanton works are being undertaken, ask locals.
Local businessmen allege that the real reason behind the over-blasting of rocks was the ban on quarries which was imposed in Idukki district.