Aristo Hotel-Ramji Nagar stretch considered busiest in the city

The State Highways Department has begun work on widening the city stretch of Tiruchi-Dindigul Highway, meeting a felt need of residents and motorists.

The city stretch of the highway between the Aristo Hotel Junction and Ramji Nagar is one of the busiest roads and an accident-prone zone in recent years.

While the Tiruchi-Dindigul National Highway (NH 45) is being widened to four-lane road by the National Highways Authority of India from the outskirts of the city, beyond Ramji Nagar, the stretch within the city limits has been lying in neglect over the past few years.

The city stretch of the highway has been handed over to the State Highways Department, which after carrying out the developing work is likely to hand over the road to the corporation.

The Highways Department has taken up the road development in four packages of two km each at a cost of Rs. 8 crore.

The first two packages, between the V.V.V. Theatre Junction in Ponnagar, and the Koraiyar, involves widening of the road from its current width of eight metres to 13 metres. Beyond Koraiyar, the road is strengthened and re-laid.

Although local residents are happy that the road is finally widened, they want the Highways Department to execute certain crucial developments as part of the project. Residents’ welfare associations of the locality recently petitioned the Collector seeking widening of the culverts along the city stretch of the highway, pointing out that the ward 45 was flood prone.

“Four old pipe culverts near the National College, Thiru Nagar, Jaya Nagar, and J.P. Nagar need to be replaced and made bigger by constructing box culverts so that water from the left side could drain across the other side and ultimately flow into the Uyyakondan. The pipe culverts are narrow to carry the water flow and often rain water stagnates,” the residents demanded in the joint representation. The sought construction of storm water drains on the right side of the highway stretch.

Another major demand has been the construction of road median along the city stretch of the highway to regulate traffic flow and prevent accidents. Residents point out scores of residential colonies and a slew of educational institutions have come up along the highway leading to a sharp rise in traffic volume. The stretch of the road between the Koraiyar and Ponnagar has become highly accident prone, they contend.

But none of the residents’ demands form part of the expansion work now being executed by the Highways Department.

“Following the representation from the residents, we have prepared a separate proposal for building box culverts and provide road medians and submitted it to the Collector who in turn has forwarded it to the government. However, if medians are to be put up, the road has to be widened further 15 metres. The fresh proposal has provision for this,” said an official of the Highways Department.