The State Highways Department has not constructed a service road

The State Highways Department commencing work of a bridge across Level Crossing 4, near the Singanallur Railway Junction, has troubled the residents of Renuka Nagar, Vinayaga Nagar, Subiksha Apartment, Rani Garden, students of a nearby school, and others in the area.

With the department digging earth to lay foundation for pillars, the road has become out of bounds for road users. They are forced to take a circuitous route to reach both Trichy Road, which is on the southern side, and the railway track and areas north thereof.

The department commenced the work in January this year and ever since the residents had been suffering, said P. Ramachandran, a resident.

Most affected were students as they would have to tread carefully to reach the school and return home.

They did not have problems with the project but with the way the department executed it, said A. Subramaniam, another resident. The department ought to have initiated steps to first construct a service road so that the residents had proper access to the Aerodrome Road or SIHS Colony Road, where the digging was taking place.

The road at present measured 30 feet in width.

If the department officials had proceeded to take over 15 feet on both sides to develop the services lanes, the residents would not have had a problem, said Mr. Ramachandran. “That would have given us the necessary space to move around without getting troubled by the work.”

Sources in the Highways Department said that they would take up the service road work only after the completion of the bridge work, for the Revenue Department would have to acquire the necessary land, compensate the land owners, get the same notified in a government order and then hand it over to the Department for work.

At present, the Revenue Department officials were engaged in negotiations with land owners over price for the land to be acquired, the sources added.

Mr. Ramachandran said that Revenue Department officials had reduced the guideline value of the areas around the place where the work was in progress.

While areas far away from the main road and those that were not as developed as the areas where the work was going on had a better guideline value, the ones that were affected by the work did not.

There seemed to be a deliberate attempt to reduce the value to fix a lower compensation value, said Mr. Ramachandran.

He said that he had written to the district administration in this regard.

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