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Short stretch turns into danger zone on Tiruchi-Madurai highway

A capsized bus at Kallupatti on Tiruchi-Madurai highway.

A 1-km-long stretch at Minivayal on Tiruchi-Madurai National Highway has turned out to be a danger zone for motorists.

There has been a sudden spurt in the number of accidents on the highway, particularly between Seththupatti and Kallupatti.

According to official sources, at least 10 accidents were reported between the two points during the last three months.

Most of them were multiple collisions, with at least 60 buses suffering extensive damage.

An accident involving four buses reported at Kallupatti four days ago claimed a life and left 42 others injured.

Topping the list of possible causes is that the stretch between 49th and 50th km on NH 45-D has become slippery due to melting of bitumen due to high temperature a few weeks ago. The subsequent rain has made the stretch slippery, leading to accidents.

If a bus or car capsizes, the vehicle is dragged for some distance. Vehicles following at a close range collide against them. The accidents have become frequent, locals claim.

On receiving complaints, Collector K. Rajamani visited the spot a few days ago to make a first-hand assessment. He also held discussions with officials of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and directed them to take steps to solve the problem.

Following this, NHAI officials deputed a team of workers to remove the melted and excess bitumen for a distance of about 500 metres.

Nonetheless, reports of multiple collisions involving buses between Seththupatti and Kallupatti continue to come.

When contacted, a senior NHAI official told The Hindu that 1-km-stretch was posing problems particularly on rainy days when drivers unfamiliar with the terrain drove their vehicles at high speed. The problem would be rectified within a day or two.

A study would be carried out to find slippery spots, if any, on Tiruchi-Madurai highway, the official added.


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