For the users of this road, it is an ordeal every day - dust, potholes, and lack of adequate space for pedestrians, buses and two and four-wheelers. Though it is almost three years since it came into being, there is no effort to lay a proper road. This is the plight of the service lanes on either side of the road over bridge (ROB) at Ondipudur.
The Hindu spoke to officials of the State Highways and the National Highways Authority of India on Thursday for details about the service lanes. Though the total length is just about a km and it is a single-lane road on either side, lack of clarity on who should take up the road for development and maintenance seems to be the reason for its poor condition.
“It is almost a no man’s road,” said one official. “This issue was already taken up,” said another. It is part of the National Highways 67, which is with the National Highways Authority of India. The stretch from the Neelambur bypass junction on Trichy Road to Narasimhanaikenpalayam was handed over to the NH wing of the Highways Department in two phases for widening into a four-lane road.
The NH wing also maintains the widened road for two years. The ROB at Ondipudur (which lies on this stretch) was constructed by the projects wing of the Highways Department.
The project wing also developed the service roads on either side of the ROB and sent the handing over proposals to the NHAI. However, the NHAI had not taken over these as the defect liability period was not over then.
The NH wing says that the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has not given any funds or entrusted the service lanes to it for maintenance.
The NHAI suggested last year that the service lanes should be handed over to the NH wing for maintenance. Its regional office was also taking up the issue with the Union Ministry so that the ROB and the service lanes can be handed over to the NH wing for maintenance along with the recently widened Trichy Road. An official claims that the Coimbatore city corporation now plans to develop the service lanes.