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Expedite construction of ROB

Residents are worried over slow pace of construction of the road overbridge.M. Srinath

With kumbabishekam of Sri Jambukeswarar Akilandeswari Temple fast approaching, residents are worried over slow pace of construction of road over bridge (ROB) on Chennai Trunk Road at Thiruvanaikovil.

The kumbabishekam of main shrines of the temple will be held on December 12 while those of shrines of ‘parivara moorthigal’ will be held on December 9.

The trunk road is the main access road to the temple from the city. As the road remains closed for traffic, people fear it could cause severe traffic congestion as a large number of devotees are expected to visit the temple. Extensive traffic diversions are in force in Srirangam over the past couple of years to facilitate construction of the bridge. The diversion of town buses has hit commuters hard as buses have to take a detour via Chennai Bypass Road.

Construction of the bridge began in 2016. Though a major part of it has been constructed, approach roads are yet to be built. The project was scheduled to be completed in 2017 but has suffered several time overrun due to various reasons including delay in completing land acquisition process.

A couple of days back, Highways Department took possession of most of the properties which have been acquired for construction of a bridge. But it could not take possession of one of the buildings, pending a court case.

“There is not much progress in the work. People are suffering and the situation will turn worse at the time of the kumbabishekam. If there is rain, there is likely to be water logging complicating matters further. We understand there was some delay in disbursement of compensation. All departments should work in coordination to execute the work on a war footing,” said S. N. Mohan Ram, president, Srirangam Makkal Nala Sangam.

Sources in the Highways Department said that they have begun work on building approach roads to the bridge on both sides. The pending court case is expected to be disposed of next week. “We are trying to expedite the work as much as possible and complete it by next month. However, the work cannot be rushed through as stability of the approach roads has to be ensured. We hope rain does not interrupt the work,” an official said.

Collector K.Rajamani said the issue of traffic management for the temple event would be discussed at the coordination meeting. “It will be helpful if the bridge is opened. If not, we will discuss what best could be done with minimum risk,” he said.


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