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Delay in lane widening leaves Palpannai Junction congested

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Trichy: Considered as the first major gateway for visitors from delta districts and Chennai to the city, Palpannai junction has not been given the attention it deserves especially in addressing its perennial congestion. The delay in widening the free left turn for commuters approaching from Thanjavur side is cited as the main reason for the traffic congestion during peak hours. Police claim that it is because of the narrow free left lane that traffic signals are not turned on at the junction as it would only add to the congestion.

Serving as a junction for vehicles heading from Chennai and northern districts to reach south and the arterial point for delta districts to reach Trichy, Palpannai junction witness at least 1.25 lakh floating population on any day. Despite such a huge number accessing the locality, traffic congestion has been the norm in peak hours. Even as a flyover is available for vehicles taking the Chennai-Trichy stretch of NH45, the underpass reels under chronic congestion mostly due to the obstruction.

“Traffic signals are ready but the inadequate free left space on the Thanjavur side of Palpannai roundabout has been putting us on hold. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) should widen the free left space to solve traffic congestion recurring in peak hours,” a senior official with city traffic police wing told TOI. Though there is a free left space available for vehicles approaching Palpannai junction towards Thiruverumbur and Thuvakudi on NH67 stretch, the space was highly inadequate. A covered drainage canal and electricity post occupy a portion of space available for widening. The inadequate space leads to bottleneck impacting the movement of vehicles between the service roads of Trichy-Chennai, Chennai-Trichy and Palpannai-Viswas Nagar stretches.

“Traffic signal should be turned on to regulate the vehicles at least during peak hours for which the widening of free left should be done on a war footing,” N Manivannan, a resident of Keelapudur, said. Though the city police have fielded two traffic constables at Palpannai junction, they face a tough time regulating the heavy traffic. Sources at the road safety council said that an electricity pole near NH67 section had to be relocated to widen the free left lane for which NHAI was said to have approached TNEB. However, the inordinate delay in initiating and completing the widening has been paralysing the entire access ways of Palpannai junction.


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