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As summer approaches, the green hills of Ooty and the quiet beauty of Kodaikanal attract visitors seeking relief from the heat. However, among the attractiveness of these beautiful retreats, a growing issue emerges an unregulated overflow of vehicles harming the delicate ecological balance of these hill villages. 

To reduce the environmental impact of increasing traffic, the Madras High Court declared a mandatory stop for visitors visiting Ooty and Kodaikanal, two of Tamil Nadu‘s most scenic hill locations. From May 7 to June 30, all vehicles entering these peaceful locations are required to have an Ooty Kodaikanal e-pass.   But why has such a dramatic measure been considered necessary, and how does it plan to handle the numerous difficulties facing these attractive locations?

Why is Regulation Essential for Ooty & Kodaikanal?

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The Madras High Court’s governing originates from a real concern: an uncontrolled flow of vehicles on the routes leading to Ooty and Kodaikanal. An unbelievable 20,011 vehicles enter the Nilgiris per day, much more than the area can handle in terms of traffic. This alarming statistic, revealed in a government status report, offers a grim picture of congested roads and severe ecological destruction.

What are the Environmental Implications?

Environmental Implications
Uncontrolled Traffic Flow

The uncontrolled traffic flow is not just an inconvenience; it is a serious threat to the sensitive ecosystem of these hill stations. The court rightly points out that these roads restrict wildlife habitats and increase human-animal conflicts by intersecting with important elephant corridors.

Not only does traffic congestion make life difficult for residents, but it also causes unnecessary stress and harm to animals who live in forests. The cumulative effect is terrible for the biodiversity of the area highlighting the urgent need for action.

How Can E-Passes Preserve Nilgiris Biosphere Safely?

biodiversity protection
Western Ghats and the Nilgiris biosphere
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A strong dedication to protecting the Western Ghats and the Nilgiris biosphere – an ecological treasure wealth of outstanding significance – lays the foundation of the e-pass mandate. Justices D Satish Kumar and D Bharatha Chakravarthy highlight the vital importance of finding a healthy balance between development and ecological integrity by highlighting the essential link between biodiversity protection and human well-being.

How do Local Communities Benefit?

reducing traffic congestion
Environmental Preservation

Travelers may need some time to get used to the e-pass requirement, but in the long run, it offers advantages far beyond environmental preservation. This approach helps residents have unrestricted access to healthcare facilities, livelihood opportunities, and other services by reducing traffic congestion and improving road safety.

Furthermore, the mandate guarantees continuous supply chains that are critical to maintaining local economies by preventing vehicles that transport agricultural products and necessities.

Streamlining the E-Pass Process:

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Getting an e-pass for your trip to Kodaikanal and Ooty is a simple procedure that puts efficiency and convenience first. Travelers can easily receive their passes by using the same inter-district transit mechanism that was put in place during the outbreak.

The state government has demonstrated its dedication to data-driven decision-making and sustainable tourism practices through its partnerships with prestigious schools such as the Indian Institute of Technology Chennai and the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.

How to Apply for an E-pass?

1. Log on to https://epass.tnega.org  or Scan below QR code.

2. Register your mobile number, get OTP and log in.

3. Choose your destination – Nilgiris (Ooty) or Kodaikanal.

4. If you are visiting both places, take Epass separately for each destination.

Apply ePass Online for Ooty & Kodaikanal Entry

Application required below information in your hand.

  • Name of the applicant.
  • Purpose – choose Tourist. 
  • Vehicle Type, registration number, year of manufacture, fuel type, Date of entry, Date of exist, State, District, address, and pin code
  • Place of stay – choose this as “I know”.
  • Once the Epass is approved, you will get a message with a link to download the document.
  • Download and keep for your information.

What are the New Traffic Instructions for Tourist Taxis in Nilgiris (Ooty)?

Taxi Vehicles Traffic Instructions
Traffic Instructions in Nilgiris

The local administration of Nilgiries is informed that all vehicles coming to Nilgiries and nearby places should adhere to the strict instructions mentioned below from 27th Apr to 15 Jun 2024.

  • All tourist buses, vans, and maxi cab vehicles except Government Bus from Gudalur to Udhagai (Ooty) should be parked on HPF golf road.  Tourists can use Government public transport from there to other tourist places.
  • Light vehicles coming from Masinagudi via Kallati towards Udhagai will reach Stephen church via Talaikuntamattam – Kozhipannai – Pudumandu. Tourists going to the botanical garden can reach from Pudumand via Vandisolai.
  • Tourist vehicles coming from Gudalur to Uthakai Boat House and Karnatka Park can take a right turn from Finger Post and reach Boat House Road and Karnataka Park Road via Kandhal Mukkonam. 
  • All tourist buses, maxi cabs, vans except Government buses coming from Coonoor to Udhagai will stop at Aavin parking lot and from there, tourists can take the Government tour bus.
  • All vehicles coming from Kotagiri to Uthagai can be diverted at Kattebet Junction and reach Udhagai via Coonoor.
  • All heavy vehicles except essential services (milk, petro, cooking gas, etc.), are not allowed inside Udhagai city from 0600 hrs to 1800 hrs on 27th April & 28th April and during summer festival from 01 May to 31 May.  
  • Mettupalayam – Ooty connectivity.  All vehicles should use road via Kothagiri from 0600 hrs to 1800 hrs on 27th Apr & 28th Apr and during summer festival from 01 May to 31 May.

How to Apply Kodaikanal & Ooty E Pass?

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Are We Ready to Accept Responsible Tourism Practices in Ooty and Kodaikanal?

It is critical that we acknowledge the Madras High Court’s innovative leadership in promoting sustainable development and responsible tourism as we travel through this time of transition.

Travelers are essential to maintaining Ooty and Kodaikanal’s natural beauty for future generations by adopting the e-pass mandate and funding current research projects.

As we go out on this adventure, let’s do it with a fresh sense of purpose and awareness of our shared need to preserve the ecological heritage of our planet.

FAQs:

What is an e-pass?

An e-Pass is mandatory for tourists and commercial vehicles visiting Ooty and Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu. There are no restrictions on the number of e-Passes issued for entry to these hill stations.

How To Generate an E-Pass?

To generate an e-Pass, you need to:
1. Fill in details such as your name, address, duration of stay, etc.
2. Provide information about your vehicle including its name, number, and other relevant details.
3. Complete the process to generate the e-Pass.

How to apply for ePass for Ooty?

To apply for an e-Pass for Ooty or Kodaikanal:
1. Visit the official website epass.tnega.org.
2. Submit details including the number of passengers, vehicle and fuel type, date of entry and exit, purpose of visit, and address.
3. Follow the instructions to complete the application process.

From which website visitors get an e-pass for Kodaikanal 2024 online booking?

Visitors can get an e-pass from the official website epass.tnega.org.