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Night travel turns risky on pitch-dark Karur road

There seems to be no solution in sight for the difficulties faced by motorists due to inadequacy of lighting along the nearly 15-km stretch of the State Highways from the city limits to Thirupparaithurai along the Tiruchi-Karur Road.

The difficulty is accentuated by the narrowness of the stretch, particularly at bends, according to a government employee commuting every day from Thirupparaithurai to the taluk office in the city.

The fear is aggravated in the current context since the road abuts the embankment of the Cauvery river in full flow on one side.

Apparently, the local bodies, including Pazhur, Jeeyapuram, and Andhanallur en route as well as the Highways Department face a common problem: funds constraint.

In fact, the Karur-Tiruchi Highway is the only road that is in darkness during night time. The other connecting highways are well-lit. According to a senior official of Highways Department, there is a proposal to widen the stretch from Kudamuruti bridge to Thiruparaithurai, but there is no provision for the department to spend on lighting. The lighting of the road is the responsibility of the village panchayats through which it passes, the official explained.
Image result for Karur road trichy night
A senior official of the Rural Development Department said the department is empowered to provide lighting only in places of habitations. The highway road does not fall in that category. Also, even if the Highways department installs lamp posts, the question of who would meet the power bill on a recurring basis arises, the official said, citing the limited funding with the village panchayats that are meant only to cater to basic amenities.

Cases in point are the difficulties being experienced by the local bodies in maintaining the lighting provided by the Highways department along the overbridges at Uttamarkovil and Valladi.

The State Government is said to be considering a proposal for entrusting the maintenance of roads of Highways department under the local bodies.

Nevertheless, on its part, the Highways department has plans to fix adequate number of reflectors for the convenience and safety of motorists when the stretch is widened.

The present breadth of the road is seven metres. There is scope to widen it by another three and a half metres. The stretch could well be converted into a two-way with paved shoulders. A proposal for widening the road at a cost of Rs. 30 crore is under consideration of the government, the official said.


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