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Traders resent slow pace of flyover work

A view of the road overbridge under construction at Periyar Nagar in Tiruchi.M. SrinathM_SRINATH

Traders of Thiruvanaikovil have expressed resentment over the slow pace of the construction of the road overbridge (ROB) on the Thiruvanaikovil Trunk Road and have called upon the government to expedite the project.

The prolonged closure of the Thiruvanaikovil Trunk Road and the traffic diversions had caused enormous hardship to residents and commuters in Srirangam, they contend.

The Thiruvanaikovil Traders Association has appealed to the authorities to complete the work at the earliest in view of the festival season. In a statement, the association president V. Chidambaram, secretary N. Renganathan and Treasurer P. Karuppaiah, pointed out that the construction, which had progressed at a fast clip initially, had been dragging on, of late. Town buses had to take a detour and people were facing a miserable situation, they said.

“Residents were happy when it was announced by the Collector that the bridge will be completed by August. But still there is no sign of the work getting completed,” they regretted.

Although a major portion of the bridge structure has been constructed, the approach roads are yet to be built. In June, Collector K. Rajamani, based on a briefing by Highways Department officials during an inspection, had said that the ROB would be opened for traffic in the first week of August. However, the approach roads are yet to be built.

The project was sanctioned by the government as early as 2011, but construction began only in 2016. The old bridge on Thiruvanaikovil Trunk Road was demolished to build the new bridge and extensive traffic diversions are in force in Srirangam over the past couple of years to facilitate the construction of the bridge.

The ROB was scheduled to be completed by 2017. In June this year, Highways authorities had said that nearly 95% of works had been completed. Highways Department sources had cited the process of land acquisition for the delay.

Mr. Rajaram told The Hindu recently that a senior Highways Department official had assured him that the work would be completed by December.


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