Valparai remains cut off from district for fifth day

COIMBATORE: Fresh landslips on the third and ninth hairpin bends along the Pollachi-Valparai Road and the resulting damage have led to being cut off for the fifth consecutive day on Monday.
With no essentials or provisions reaching the hill town, residents report prices of grocery and vegetables shooting up and the town’s petrol pumps running dry.

The Aliyar-Valparai Road, which has seen multiple landslides due to flash floods for the last few days, saw fresh landslips on Sunday. As a result, the road has been closed to heavy vehicles and SUVs. Many people from the hill town, who work on the plains, have not been able to return to Valparai and many have not travelled downhill for work for the last five days,” said Nielsen, a Valparai resident. “We have not had any buses or even trucks with people entering or leaving the town either via Aliyar Road or the Athirapally Road via ,” he told TOI.

The personnel at the check-post allow only small cars to use the road. “Some people are booking passages in small cars for Rs 200 to Rs 300 to Valparai and down hill,” said Nielsen.

With no essential commodities being supplied to the hill town, prices of food provisions have shot up, say residents. “Prices of vegetables and meat have shot up. Price of vegetables like carrot, and leafy vegetables has increased by around 30% due to high demand,” said RK Ramakrishnan, another resident. “Carrots, which were sold for Rs 50/kg, now cost Rs 80/kg. Tomatoes, which used to cost Rs 30/kg, cost around Rs 50 per kg. Onion price has also gone up.”

Fuel shortage is also likely to be faced by the residents, because there are only two petrol pumps in Valparai. While one has already run dry, the second pump had about 1,500 litres of petrol and 2,500 litres of diesel as of Monday evening.

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