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Updated: April 26, 2012 12:06 IST

Incomplete road overbridge leaves residents marooned

M. Balaganessin
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IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE: The stalemate over the completion of the road overbridge at Manapparai continues. Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam
IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE: The stalemate over the completion of the road overbridge at Manapparai continues. Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam

Rs.20 cr. project remains suspended since January this year

With no signs of dust getting settled over works on construction of a road overbridge at Manapparai, which have been suspended over months, thing are yet to look up for the residents of the town and a large number of villagers in and around it. Patients and those injured in road accidents have to bear the pain of approaching circuitous routes silently. A number of places in and around Manapparai have become accident-prone after the Dindigul highway was made four-lane.

The proposal for constructing the bridge was taken up at an outlay of Rs.20 crore including Rs.5 crore for land acquisition and the foundation was laid in October 2010. The bridge with 16 spans is being constructed to a total length of 444 metres.

Manapparai town is plagued with traffic snarls, by virtue of the location of the market, Uzhavar Sandhai and bus stand all within a stone's throw distance. The work on the starting of the bridge raised the hopes of the local residents that the traffic congestion would ease to a great extent. The work was taken up sometime in November 2010 only to be suspended by January this year.

Ever since the work was taken up, all the heavy vehicles bound for Manapparai are being diverted through a distant place about two km from the town. “A majority of bus drivers skip the town and force the passengers coming from Bodi, Dindigul and of other mofussil buses to alight on the outskirts of the town,” say the residents.

The work was suspended around January as land acquisition was not completed for service road and other amenities, although piers had been constructed in the middle of the highway.

Realising the seriousness of the issue, the district administration has taken immediate action. “The Highways Department has deposited about Rs.5 crore to be disbursed as compensation to the land owners and the work will be resumed within a couple of weeks,” official sources said. Collector Jayashree Muralidaran has also been monitoring the progress of the work. “A team comprising officials of the highways, revenue, public works, municipal, and survey department conducted a spot inspection and arrived at compensation for the land owners,” according to the sources. Apart from houses, shops and commercial establishments would be acquired. The land owners have expressed their consent for surrendering the property during the inspection.

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