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Andhanallur residents sore as road, bridge cry out for repairs

A view of Kudamurutti bridge in Tiruchi.M. Srinath

CPI(M) cadre of Andhanallur union on Wednesday took to the streets, demanding expeditious implementation of a long-pending proposal to strengthen the Tiruchi-Karur National Highway between the Kudamuritti and Pettavaithalai.

Although the Andhanallur committee of the CPI (M) had called for a highway blockade, party members heeded to the plea of officials to convert the stir into a demonstration.

Revenue officials later held peace talks with residents and the party cadre.

The stretch has been in poor and neglected condition ever since the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) developed and strengthened NH 67 beyond Pettavaithalai. Since a by-pass was to be laid between Panchapur and Jeeyapuram, the stretch was left with the State Highways department.

The road running along the banks of the Cauvery is just wide enough to accommodate two vehicles. Although there is little scope for widening the nearly 12-km road stretch, with the river on one side and a railway track on the other, residents want it to be strengthened and improved to ensure the safety of motorists.

They say poor maintenance has aggravated the situation and accidents have become frequent. They demand that a central median be built to prevent accidents and the entire stretch be illuminated properly. They also want an ambulance to be stationed at Jeeyapuram in view of the frequent accidents.

Residents are also sore over the pathetic condition of the road overbridge across the Kudamuritti canal near Tiruchi city. Built several decades ago, the surface of the road on the narrow bridge has developed cracks and makes for a bumpy ride. They want the overbridge to be widened.

CPI(M) members contended that the district administration had given a written assurance to strengthen the road after an agitation in October last.

“Everybody agrees that the condition of the road is bad, but nobody takes any action,” said Vinoth Mani, a local party functionary, who led the demonstration that was inaugurated by senior party leader S. Sridhar.

Highways department sources said a proposal to strengthen the road stretch, including widening of the Kudamuritti bridge, has been taken up with the government and efforts were being made to get it sanctioned this financial year.

“The proposal entails an investment of about Rs. 40 crore. We hope to get the finds sanctioned this year,” said a senior official of the Department.

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