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Kumuli: In Kumuli, bordering Tamil Nadu and Kerala, heavy rains have caused soil erosion up to the base of the giant trees on the hillside. Due to this, there is a risk of the trees standing in the gap without taking root and falling down on the road.
The Kumuli Pass is the main route of Kerala from Theni district. Tourists, Sabarimala Ayyappa devotees, farmers, traders and many others are using this road more and more. Kumuli is a 6 km hill drive from Lower Camp near Kudalur. The road is located in the forest area of Periyar Tiger Reserve of Kerala Forest Department.
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The heavy rains last week caused more flooding. As the water entered the giant trees on the hillside and passed at high speed, the soil beneath the trees was greatly eroded. Also, the soil at the base of the trees in the roadside mounds was also severely eroded. Due to this, in many places of Kumuli mountain road, the roots of giant trees are in the gap without soil. Many roadside trees are leaning dangerously.
If there is a strong wind or heavy rain again, these trees can collapse and fall on the road. Therefore, the trees should be strengthened by covering the soil in the root zone without holding. Also there is a demand to establish infrastructure so that rainwater can pass without soil erosion. The Highways Department said, “After heavy rains, the area has been under surveillance. Continuous humidity has greatly reduced the grip strength of roadside trees. We have been removing branches and strengthening them from time to time. Steps have been taken to build retaining walls in many areas to allow rainwater to pass through without harming the trees and to strengthen the trees.”