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Preliminary work to develop Tiruchi Road begins

Staff Reporter

Highways Department has requested TNEB to shift lampposts, transformers

For a smooth ride: The Highways Department is embarking on a Rs. 8-crore project to develop Tiruchi Road from the Stock Exchange to the Neelambur Bypass Road junction. Photo: S. Siva Saravanan.

COIMBATORE: The preliminary work to develop the eight-km stretch of Tiruchi Road from the Neelambur Bypass Road junction to the Stock Exchange in the city has begun.

The road has been a nightmare for people who use it regularly. Narrow and inadequate space and too many potholes have been a concern for motorists.

Once the project gets completed, the residents of colonies along Tiruchi Road will benefit.

There were uncertainties in implementing the project as lampposts and transformers on the road proved to be an impediment in widening the road.

The issue over who should bear the cost of shifting these lampposts and transformers had been a controversy for quite some time.

The TNEB contended that only agencies that sought shifting should bear the cost. The Highways authority refuted it by saying that it was the EB that had encroached on their space.

It even requested the TNEB to consult the agencies concerned before erecting transformers and lampposts. In many places, after removing the encroachments, Highways authorities found lampposts and transformers on the middle of the road.

Clarifications sought

At the meetings of the road-safety advisory council held under the chairmanship of the Collector, S. Kosalaraman, the issue was discussed.

Finally, the council wrote to the Government seeking clarifications. The Government, in its recent GO, made it clear that the TNEB would not insist on the cost of shifting lampposts/transformers from the Highways Department and the fund-starved local bodies.

Following this, the Highways Department had begun the work on the road.

Joint inspection

A joint inspection was conducted by all agencies concerned recently. The Divisional Engineer, N. Rahamathullah and the Assistant Divisional Engineer, R. Krishnakumar, represented the Highways Department.

The District Revenue Officer, M. Karunakaran, led a team of officials from the Electricity Board, Corporation Engineering Department, Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and all private telecom service providers.

The inspection took stock of the requirements such as shifting water lines, phone cables besides lampposts and transformers to road boundaries.

While the TWAD Board, Corporation and telecom service providers assured that they would shift their utility lines immediately, the Highways Department had requested the TNEB to expedite shifting of 87 lampposts and six transformers.

Once the TNEB completed the work, the Department would sanction Rs. 8 crores of which Rs. 2 crores would be spent for construction of a four-lane bridge across Noyyal at the Kamatchipuram City Police check post with a service bay for the pedestrians. A sum of Rs. 6 crores would be spent for widening and strengthening the road.

Tiruchi Road would have four-lanes with seven-metre width on either side, a three-metre service road for two-wheelers, bus parking bays and a median. If everything goes as per the schedule, the road would be ready in eight months, highways officials said.

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