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Tiruchi-Namakkal road widening work in limbo

More than a year after Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced that the Tiruchi-Namakkal stretch would be widened and upgraded as a National Highway, there is still no sign of the road being taken up for development.

The Chief Minister made the announcement in September 2017. The Highways Department is understood to have written to the National Highways Authority of India to take over the road. However, NHAI sources said the agency was engaged in preparing a detailed project report (DPR) only for the Musiri-Namakkal section and the development of the stretch would be taken up soon. With the State Highways being asked not to take up any development on the road in view of the handover, it is not sure when the road would be taken up for development.

Meanwhile, there has been a clamour from regular users of the road to widen the entire road section running for nearly 90 km.

The road is unable to serve the huge number of vehicles using it round-the-clock. The narrow two-lane road runs between the Cauvery river and fertile agricultural lands.

“The road needs to be developed urgently. There is not even a one-km stretch without curves, many of which are dangerous. We do not know why the proposal to widen the road has not been taken up yet,” says Saravanan Natesan, a resident of Puthanampatti.

Accidents are frequent, especially at night, he says. Many goods vehicles lose balance and overturn while the negotiating the sharp curves. Some of the drivers of Karnataka State Transport Corporation operating on the Tiruchi - Bengaluru route even avoid going via the Musiri road and instead take the Karur Road up to Kulithalai to join the Musiri-Namakkal section of the highway, Mr.Saravanan says.

He and several other road users point out that except the Tiruchi-Musiri-Namakkal and the Tiruchi-Chidambaram roads, all other highways from Tiruchi have been widened by the NHAI.

Alternative route

Mr.Saravanan also suggests that the Highways Department could develop the Thuraiyur-Thammampatti Road as an alternative route to Salem from Tiruchi.


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