New access road to Vanni

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 September 1998, 00:07 GMT]
A new access road to the LTTE controlled part of the Vanni from Vavuniya was opened today through Poovarasankulam on the Mannar road. The new accessroad, according to Vavuniya Kachcheri officials, will greatly ease the difficulties faced by NGOs, hospitals and the Kachcheri in traveling to andfrom the LTTE controlled part of the Vanni currently through Uyilankulam near Mannar.

The road will be open only to vehicles belonging to NGOs and UN organisation working in the Vanni, ambulances and official vehicles.

Permission to travel on the Poovarasankulam road has to be obtained from the Vavuniya GA and the UNHCR in the LTTE controlled part of the Vanni has to be informed said an official at the Jaffna Kachcheri this afternoon.

He said that distance to the Thunukkai-Mallaavi area, the main population centre in the western part of the Vanni under the LTTE's control, is fifty kilometers less from on the Poovarasankulam road than on the Uyilankulam route.

The Vavuniya GA Mr. S.Ganesh, the President of the Vavuniya branch of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society Mr.Sivanaathan Kishore and other officials traveled in a convoy this morning on the Poovarasankulam road to Thunukkai and returned this afternoon.

Sources said that it was not clear whether the army would permit civilians to go through Poovarasankulam in the future.

Vavuniya Kachcheri sources said that the Poovarasankulam road was repaired at a cost of 6 million SL rupees and the Moonrumurippu bridge for 10 million SL rupees.

The Uyilankulam route was a detour through difficult terrain.

Vehicles carrying relief and amnulances were often held up on the dilapidated dirt roads. On the Uyilankulam road vehicles had to go north to Aandaankulam then turn east to travel about 25 kilometers to Madhu, turn north again to Paalampiddi and then either turn northeast to reach Mallavi or Thunukkai on difficult jungle roads through Keerisuddan and Nattaankandal or had to turn south east from Palampiddi to reach Iranai Illuppaikkulam junction and then turn north towards Mallavi through Moonrumurippu to Mallavi.

The Poovarasankulam access road, however, is a straight run. The Iranai Illuppaikkulam junction is a short distance north of Poovarasankulam, and from there it is a straight run to Thunukkai or Mallavi through Moonrumurippu.

"We hope this road will be the answer to all the logistical difficulties we had to face so far in reaching LTTE controlled parts of the Vanni" said a kachcheri offial who traveled on the road today.

 

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