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NITT expert team for removal of Ganesa Point Roundabout

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An expert team of National Institute of Technology-Tiruchi (NITT) will shortly submit its report to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on the dynamics of traffic flow at Ganesa Point along Tiruchi-Thanjavur Highway and threat of accidents at the spot, which is an entrance to BHEL production plants from the township.

The expert team of the civil engineering department has surmised that it would be safe to replace the roundabout at the location with traffic signals. The reasoning is that the employees cross the highway only twice day — while going to work and returning home — and that the priority ought to be the hassle-free flow of vehicles.

The NHAI entrusted the team with the task after carrying out a spot visit along with Tiruverumbur MLA Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi earlier this year. The issue was again discussed at a subsequent meeting of NHAI officials and residents’ associations chaired by Tiruchi MP P Kumar.

At periodic intervals in recent years, there have been reports of load lorries skidding off the road due to difficulty in negotiating the bend. In one instance, a lorry laden with bamboo poles ploughed into the iron railings of the traffic island when the driver lost control of the vehicle and the front two wheels broke off in the impact.

The police department’s response has been that the size of the traffic island is large and the obstruction created in the middle of the national highway does not serve the purpose of reducing the speed of the vehicles. More often, there is miscalculation by drivers of heavy vehicles, and many have had narrow escapes while applying the brakes, the traffic police say.

It was in deference to persistent public demand for either removal of the traffic island, or at least reduction in its size, that the NHAI entrusted the NITT team with the task of conducting a technical study.

While there has not been any visible signs along the highway, indicating the presence of the traffic island, installing barricades near the location will also turn counterproductive, road users feel. Since there is no scope for fixing speed-breakers on the national highway, the police department has been urging the NHAI to reduce the size of the roundabout.

BHEL, sources say, has even mooted the idea of constructing an underpass or a flyover at the location. But the NHAI’s stand has been that any such project can be executed only on a cost-sharing basis.


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