Potholes make for a bumpy ride on the poorly-maintained stretch
The National Highway 67 section between Tiruchi and Thiruparaithurai has turned into a motorist’s nightmare thanks to the numerous potholes and bumps.
While the road has been taken up for widening by the National Highways Authority, the highway is actually developed only from Jeeyapuram towards Karur. The project has been moving at a slow pace between Jeeyapuram and Karur over the past few years and the Jeeyapuram-Tiruchi section, a stretch of about 10 to 12 km, have been left uncared for.
The NHAI has still some distance to cover as the highway development has been completed only between Perugamani and Karur. Work is currently underway between Mukkombu and Thiruparathurai. The alignment for the proposed bypass road between Panchapur and Jeeyapuram, to connect the Tiruchi-Madurai, the Tiruchi-Dindigul, and the NH 67, is also yet to be finalised.
The road stretch from Thiruparaithurai to Tiruchi has suffered heavy damages down the years. The repeated ‘patch works’ and newer potholes make for a bumpy ride. Several acute curves and sharp bends form part of the stretch that runs alongside the Cauvery river making it all the more difficult for motorists and commuters.
“Negotiating this stretch has turned very risky. During nights, it becomes far worse as speeding heavy vehicles swerve recklessly, often trying to get around the potholes. There is no point in developing a highway, leaving a few km in pathetic condition and making it a bottleneck,” observed Veeramani, a taxi driver who regularly travels along the road.
The agony gets prolonged as motorist driving towards Karur also have to negotiate a single corridor between Mukkkombu and Thiruparathurai, where currently the highway development works are in progress over the past few months. With one half of the highway being dug up, traffic snarls have become frequent, given the heavy volume of traffic.
A large number of people, some from as far as Karur, commute daily to Tiruchi for education, work, and business. The poor maintenance of the stretch make for a back-breaking ride, said Vijayakumar of Pettavaithalai. Accidents too have become frequent as potholes and bumps dot the road in several places such as Jeeyapuram, Kambarsampettai, and Allur. The plight of those commuting by two-wheelers is worse still as speeding vehicles hardly allow them any space on the narrow road.
NHAI sources, when contacted, said usually such left over stretches of national highways taken up for development are handed over to the State Highways for maintenance. The NHAI, they said, have already written to the State Highways Department a few days back requesting them to take over the stretch. The NHAI has already carried out repairs on the stretch, they maintained.