E-Passes Mandatory for Ooty and Kodaikanal Visits During Flower Festival

In anticipation of the upcoming Ooty Flower Festival from May 10 to 20, authorities have instituted an e-pass system for tourists planning to visit Ooty and Kodaikanal. The decision to implement the e-pass system was prompted by concerns raised by the Madras High Court regarding traffic congestion and the potential negative impact on local wildlife.

Tourists can now apply for an e-pass through the websites serviceonline.gov.in/tamilnadu or tnega.tn.gov.in. The application requires details such as the applicant’s Aadhaar card/ration card/driving licence/passport, vehicle registration details, date of visit, and duration of stay.

As per the Madras High Court’s directive, the tourists needed to have an e-pass service to visit the hill stations from May 7 to June 30. Only a limited number of vehicles will be permitted to enter these regions each day.

The Madras High Court emphasised the urgency of implementing such measures, citing concerns over the excessive traffic, which exceeds the capacity of the roads leading to Ooty and Kodaikanal. More than 20,000 vehicles enter the Nilgiris region daily, with tourist seasons witnessing a staggering influx of approximately 11,509 cars, 1,341 vans, 637 buses, and 6,524 two-wheelers.

Moreover, the court highlighted the plight of local wildlife, particularly elephants, who frequently encounter obstacles while traversing roads in the area. Recognising this, the court asked authorities to implement an e-pass system to regulate tourist activities in the region.

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