The extensive encroachment eviction drive taken up by the Tiruchi Corporation in the city over the last week, in the run-up to the implementation of the Tamil Nadu Urban Road Infrastructure Project (TURIP), is expected to continue over the next few days.

The civic body has taken up eviction operations on the West Boulevard Road, Madurai Road, Chinthamani, Thennur and a few other parts of the city. The drive is likely to continue in a few other arterial roads of the city in the days to come, senior Corporation officials indicated.

The move comes in the wake of the Corporation's attempts to clear the ground for the implementation of TURIP, a project which seeks to strengthen and upgrade city roads to international standards. Roads and other infrastructure to be developed under the scheme would be of international standards, with underground ducts for utility services and cables, and would not require upgradation for the next 20 years.

The Corporation is planning to widen and develop the West Boulevard Road, where a few temples were demolished recently, as a model road under TURIP, Corporation Commissioner T.T. Balsamy said.

According to available indications, about 350 km of roads are likely to be taken up for development in the first phase of the project. The project is expected to go on stream this year.

Under the project, roads are to be improved with storm water drains, barrier-free footpaths, underground ducts for cables, medians, lane markings, road signs and street lights. New bridges, underpasses and parking lots are also planned under the project. The project consultant, DHV India Private Limited., has already made an extensive study of the existing infrastructure of the city.

It has already identified a list of encroachments to be removed and the utilities to be shifted in almost all major roads in the city. The eviction drive is the upshot of the plans being evolved under the project. A City Road Plan is also being prepared by the project consultant and the detailed project report is expected to be ready soon.

Meanwhile, Mr.Balsamy has already appealed to encroachers, especially managers/caretakers of places of worship, to remove the structures voluntarily and cooperate with the Corporation. Corporation officials insist that all encroachments would be removed impartially in a phased manner.