Now Tourists Require An E-Pass To Enter Ooty And Kodaikanal

In order to curb overtourism, the Madras High Court instructed the authorities to impose mandatory pass entry to these ecologically sensitive hill stations
Emerald Lake, Nilgiris, Ooty
Emerald Lake, Nilgiris, OotyShutterstock

The Madras High Court has taken decisive action in response to mounting concerns over traffic congestion in Tamil Nadu's popular hill stations, Ooty and Kodaikanal. Requiring e-passes for travellers to these picturesque destinations from May 7 to June 30, the court aims to gather data on vehicular traffic along the challenging ghat roads.

Following a status report indicating the staggering influx of over 20,000 vehicles daily into Nilgiris, including 11,500 cars and 6,500 two-wheelers during peak season, the court directed the District Collectors to devise an online system for issuing e-passes. These passes will be mandatory for entry, ensuring regulated access and easing traffic on strained roadways.

Emphasising the necessity for proper enforcement, the bench stressed that possession of e-passes will be rigorously verified at entry points. The system will launch on May 7 and run as a pilot until June 30. It will be widely publicised through official channels and regional newspapers in neighbouring states.

Acknowledging the adverse impact on residents and tourists, the court highlighted the critical need to mitigate traffic congestion, which disrupts travel and poses environmental risks, particularly to elephant corridors. The decision reflects a concerted effort to safeguard the region's ecological balance while enhancing the travel experience.

A boat house on the Pykara Lake near Ooty, Tamil Nadu
A boat house on the Pykara Lake near Ooty, Tamil NaduShutterstock

About Ooty And Kodaikanal

Nestled amidst the lush greenery of the Nilgiri Hills, Ooty and Kodaikanal stand as quintessential hill stations, attracting travellers nationwide. Ooty, known as Udhagamandalam, beckons visitors with its cool climate and sprawling tea gardens. From the iconic Nilgiri Mountain Railway to the picturesque Ooty Lake, the town offers many attractions for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Trekking trails through dense forests, botanical gardens teeming with exotic flora, and the enchanting Ooty Rose Garden add to the allure of this hill retreat.

Meanwhile, Kodaikanal, fondly referred to as the "Princess of Hill Stations," enchants visitors with its misty landscapes and serene lakes. Boating on the shimmering waters of Kodai Lake, strolling through the fragrant pine forests, and admiring the beauty of Silver Cascade Falls are among the many delights awaiting travellers in this idyllic destination. The town's colonial-era architecture, bustling markets offering homemade chocolates and handicrafts, and panoramic viewpoints like Coaker's Walk complete the picture of a perfect hillside getaway.

(With inputs from PTI and media reports)

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