Traffic jam between Kodaikanal and Perumalmalai
Photo: Kishore Cariappa

Open Letter to the Collector

Dear Collector,

These are some photos of traffic between Perumalmalai and Kodaikanal on Friday, 5th November 2021. There are reports of people taking three and four hours to negotiate this twelve-kilometre stretch.

Kodaikanal cannot handle this volume of traffic. There are no places to park within the town and most hotels don’t offer sufficient parking. It is becoming an ordeal for residents and tourists alike. This phenomenon is nothing new, it has been going on for decades.

One would have imagined that politicians and bureaucrats would have come to grips with this alarming spectacle and done something about it. There was even a report in the newspapers that the Superintendent of Police, in Dindigul, had allotted over 40 police to handle traffic during this period. They must be superheroes as not one is visible on the roads!

Merely throwing our hands up and stating we are a third world country isn’t any solution. We aren’t a third world country but the dirt, filth and lack of infrastructure in our cities make people want to escape at any cost. Hill stations appear to be the only salvation. They are certainly not to be blamed.

Photo: Kishore Cariappa

At present there are no symptoms of administration whatsoever. The collector needs to reintroduce the ePass system, whereby tourists can come and enjoy what is on offer in these Palani Hills in a regulated manner. Visitors can thereby enjoy themselves without getting snarled up on roads, which are in a pathetic state of disrepair.

Road rage, combined with the frustration of finding a spot to park, along with mounds of garbage, are the order of the day. Cars and vans, parked in desperation, block arterial roads, leading to even greater chaos.


Minoo Avari

‘Open Letter’ presents a citizen’s viewpoint on a local concern. Responses and suggestions are welcome via email to and may be published.

Minoo Avari

Minoo Avari is a retired tea and coffee planter. President of the Mya Palanimalai Farmer's Association (MPFA) for several years, he is also president of the United Citizen's Council of Kodaikanal and the Council Protection Association. He writes and plays tennis in his spare time, and lives in Kodaikanal.

1 Comment

  1. Kodai is not too far from Bangalore. We moved to Sanjaynagar in Bangalore. I have been returning to Bangalore since 1968. You may know Villoo Hattangadi, my neighbor in D.C. She says Cyrus Avari was her neighbor in Mumbai in the 1960s. Sorry about your mum passing away. So did mine on October 8th 2021. Time flies and I am writing so we may stay in touch during the remaining years. Shashi

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