Work comes to halt due to financial problems of contractor

The unfinished overpass at Ariyamangalam in the outskirts of the city remains a major traffic bottleneck on the Tiruchi-Thanjavur section of National Highway 67, giving a torrid time for commuters.

The project, taken up as part of the four-laning of the highway by the National Highways Authority of India , involves the construction of a new overpass parallel to the old bridge across the railway lines. The old bridge was to be strengthened and retained as carriage way towards Tiruchi and the new bridge was to cater to traffic towards Thanjavur.

Although the new overpass has been built and opened for traffic last January, work on the strengthening of the old bridge has come to a standstill in recent months. Thousands of residents, including employees of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, and students of educational institutions located in Kattur, Tiruverumbur, and Thuvakudi have to contend with traffic snarls every day, especially during peak hours, as the new bridge has to cater to traffic on both directions. Chaotic traffic conditions prevail as motorists try to make their way through the unfinished approach roads of the old bridge.

“It is shocking that the critical work has come to a halt now. Apart from traffic congestion, frequent accidents are also taking place near the bridge. Besides, commuters are subject to heavy air pollution at the spot. The district administration should intervene to take immediate steps for the speedy completion of the overpass ,” said S.Sakthivel, organising secretary, Federation for Retrieval of Tiruchi-Palpannai-Thuvakkudi Service Roads, an umbrella organisation of residents associations.

Sources in the NHAI said that the work has come to a halt as the contractor was facing financial problems. However, the contractor has been asked to resume work and complete it without any further delay, an officer said and added that the remaining work would be completed within a few days.