The National Highways Authority of India has closed the stretch between Dhanushkodi and Arichamunai, the eastern tip of Rameswaram island, after a portion of the outer wall of the roundtana at Arichamunai was damaged following sea erosion.
A 20-metre-long portion of the outer wall was damaged after high tidal waves hit the wall and eroded the sand underneath, officials said, adding the waves were intense after the onset of northeast monsoon a couple of days ago.
The sea came very close to the outer wall and the damage was reported on Friday night, they said. Highway officials closed the 4.5-km-long road as a precautionary measure to prevent any untoward incident.
Police guards posted at Dhanushkodi prevented tourists and pilgrims from proceeding towards Arichamunai on Sunday. To prevent further damage to the wall, the NHAI officials worked round the clock since Saturday morning and placed boulders on the damaged portion.
The stretch would be opened for traffic after two or three days, they said.
The 9.5-km-long road 5 km from Mukuntharayar Chathiram to Dhanushkodi and 4.5 km from Dhanushkodi to Arichamunai was laid at a cost of 70 crore three years ago. Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally inaugurated it on July 27, 2017.