It is more than two years since works started for a bridge across the railway crossing on Nanjundapuram road in the city. Though it was scheduled to be completed in 18 months, works are still going on.
“There are more than 5,000 families living at Nanjundapuram, apart from several apartment projects in the nearby areas. Though there is a two-km diversion road now, it does not have bitumen topping and there are no street lights. It is almost impossible to use this road during rains,” says N. P. Bhupendran, a resident of Nanjundapuram.
The residents of Nanjundapuram staged a protest here on Monday demanding that steps be taken to complete the works at the earliest. Representatives of various political parties extended their support to the residents by participating in the protest. K. Karuppusamy, convernor for the demonstration, said that they had also submitted a memorandum to the District Collector.
The residents claim there are accidents every day on the diversion road and even instances of waylaying of two-wheeler riders and robbing them of valuables. Those who return from work late in the evening have to walk long distances in the dark as the buses stop only on the main road now. Even the project cost has been revised because of the delay, they say.
V. Jayabalan, another resident, says that there are hundreds of vehicles that pass by the diversion road every day. Women and students walk across the railway crossing to go to work or school and they are at risk as there is no clear visibility of the trains that might be coming that way.
The residents have joined hands and constituted the Kovai Nanjundapuram Railway Bridge Protest Committee.
They organised a fast last year and plan to continue with protests if there is no effort to complete the works soon. An official of the State Highways Department told The Hindu that there was a delay in completing land acquisition.
(This is a Rs.-12.6 crore project for construction of 693 metre, two-lane bridge).