Motorists using the city stretch of Tiruchi-Thanjavur highway, which is being made four-lane, in particular, are facing a torrid time

Windy conditions and the slight showers over the past week have kicked up much dust in the city, leaving motorists, especially two wheeler riders, fretting and fuming.

Accumulation of fine sand and dust along roads in the city has been a long-neglected problem by civic authorities, who, however, take up special care to mop up the roads ahead of VIP visits to city, complain residents.

Motorists using the city stretch of Tiruchi-Thanjavur highway, which is being made four-lane, in particular, are facing a torrid time.

A cloud of dust hangs over stretches of unfinished roads near Tiruverumbur which at times even makes for poor visibility.

While the problem along Thanjavur highway is expected to be overcome once the work on four-lane is completed, there is no such hope for residents in other parts of the city.

Sand accumulation along the roadsides remains a major problem for two-wheeler riders and one of the reasons for frequent accidents.

Patches of accumulated sand along several arterial roads, though in good condition, give a nightmarish experience to two-wheeler riders.

The problem is acute particularly around the Chathram and central bus stand areas, the West Boulevard Road, the Madurai Road, Vella Mandi Road and Gandhi Market.

Given the tendency of the city bus crews to over-speed, a majority of two-wheeler riders are pushed to the edges of the road, often making their vehicles wobble in the sand.

Besides, the heavy vehicles kick up a cloud of dust leaving the two wheeler riders to ride though a haze.

“It is almost like being caught in a sandstorm in a desert. Sun glasses and goggles hardly help and very often you are blinded with sand hitting your eyes. It is time that the civic officials consider the plight of two wheeler riders, cyclists and pedestrians,” grimaces Raghavan, a resident of the city.

The dusty roads aggravate the problems for those with respiratory ailments and asthma.

“The dust and the exhaust fumes of the vehicles pose a terrible problem to people like me who struggle with asthma,” says R.Gopal, a resident of K.K.Nagar who travels extensively on his motorcycle on business every day.

Some suggest that the roads be cleaned up regularly to clear the sand accumulated on the roadsides.

M.Sekaran, president of Federation of Consumer and Service Organisations, points out that the city stretch of Tiruchi-Chennai bypass road is periodically cleaned by the concessionaire who had executed the four-lane project for the national highways authority. Similar arrangements should be made to clean up the city roads regularly, he says.

But given the severe shortage of sanitary workers, Tiruchi Corporation has been struggling to clear even the garbage.

Attempt to rope in men’s self-help groups for sanitation works is yet to take off. Former corporation commissioner Harmander Singh, points out a former councillor, had hired a machine for cleaning up the city roads using suction pumps and mops but the move was halted after a short period.

It is high time, he feels, that the civic body should go in for such mechanised options to clean up the city roads regularly.