The Mettupalayam Road four-lane work completion is likely to skip another deadline. Works started nearly two years ago to widen the 20-km stretch into a four-lane road at a total cost of Rs. 49.7 crore were expected to be completed by the end of December 2011.

However, officials now say that it can take another month to complete the road works. Widening of bridges on the stretch is expected to take longer.

M. Devendran, Secretary of Mettupalayam Road Protection Association, contends that the works may take four months to six months in order to get over.

An official of the Highways Department says that the road was widened into a four-lane one till Thudiyalur except for about 800 metres.

Bridges

Of the 16 bridges on the stretch, six were widened and works were on in different stages of completion for another 10. The road median was also in place for three km.

Yet, for the road users hardships continue. The trees have not been brought down on the entire stretch, rubble and dust on the road sides hamper traffic movement and even in places where the works are over, the new road has pits. The road divider is already coming off is some places, says Mr. Devendran.

During the last one week, two accidents occurred at Narasimhanaikenpalayam though the two-wheeler drivers were using the road where works were over. This was because the new road was dug to repair a water pipeline and was not re-laid properly.

The association plans to appeal to the State Government to study the quality of the work of the new road, he says. Cautious drive for 11.6 km from Sai Baba Temple junction to Narasimhanaikenpalayam takes nearly half an hour.

A taxi driver who uses the road at least thrice a day says that sometimes patients travel in his car and it is difficult to go slow because speeding buses and heavy vehicles that want to overtake.

Speeding vehicles and those crossing the road from one side to another are a big challenge now, he says.

Mr. Devendran says the police should have more personnel on the stretch for better traffic management and should not permit trucks and container lorries to be parked on either side of the road.

In addition to this, they should remove all the encroachments to facilitate smooth traffic flow.

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