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It’s a rough ride for motorists on Vengur-Kallanai road



The condition of the six-km stretch of road from Vengur to Kallanai has worsened after the recent spell of rain, making travel a nightmare for motorists.

Replete with potholes, the narrow road, locals say, has not been maintained ever since it was laid after the 2005 floods. The breadth of the existing road shrunk when the Cauvery river bund was raised and has ever since caused difficulties for Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation that operates a few services to Kallanai from Chathiram Bus Stand and from Tiruverumbur every day. Bus drivers struggle to negotiate the bends, says Sakthivel, a resident of Vengur.

Likewise, two-wheeler riders face the risk of skidding down the slopes at the many bends of the road due to erosion caused over the years. The road serves villagers of Vengur, Natarajapuram, Thogur, and Arasangudi in the limits of Tiruchi district, and residents of Kachamangalam, Sukkambar, Padirakudi, Kiliyur and Indalur on Thanjavur side, Kumaravel of Thogur, an employee of a BHEL ancillary unit said.

The path gets blocked when two buses in opposite directions get stranded at the eroded locations, he said. The six-km stretch is the only grey area in an otherwise well-connected road network. The portion of Tiruverumbur-Kallanai Road up to Vengur at the point of intersection at Cauvery right bank that falls within the jurisdiction of Tiruchi district was widened earlier this year at a cost of Rs. 2 crore.

And, the left bank road serving the residents of Uttamarseeli, Panayapuram and a few other villages was also widened and strengthened with retaining walls to a stretch of 12.5 km from Chennai Bypass Road till Grand Anicut at a cost of Rs. 39.50 crore under the Comprehensive Road Infrastructure Development Programme.

A similar project is what the residents of villages along the right bank are also looking for, to prevent accidents, particularly during night time. For, several hundreds of BHEL employees working in different shifts use the road for daily commuting from their villages. Also, during weekends, the road is much-frequented by tourists.

According to a senior official of Highways Department, proposals have been made several times in the past seeking funds for repair. The recently sent proposal envisaged expenditure of Rs. 30 crore for strengthening the road and construction of retaining walls.

The project entails construction of retaining walls to a height of 15 metres from the sill level, the official sources said and added that funds were expected under the tourism development initiatives.

source

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