Heavy vehicles passing through the unfinished portion kick up huge cloud of dust

The ongoing road laying work taken up by the highways department as part of the widening of the city stretch of Tiruchi-Dindigul highway is giving a torrid time to motorists.

The project came as a huge relief meeting a need of residents and work on re-laying the road is progressing between Karumandapam and National College over the past few days. Since it is a low-lying stretch prone to water stagnation, the highways department has laid a basic layer of wet mix macadam.

As the road is yet to be blacktopped, heavy vehicles passing through the unfinished portion kick up a huge cloud of dust, and motorists, especially two-wheeler riders, are forced to make their way through the heavy pollution. “Passing through the stretch has become a nightmare over the past few days. The cloud of dust leaves you literally blinded. Inhaling the dust is also dangerous, especially for children and the elderly. The highways department should complete the work quickly in the interest of thousands of residents,” says R.Gopal, a regular commuter on the road.

The city stretch of the highway between Aristo Hotel junction and Ramji Nagar is one of the busiest roads, and an accident-prone zone in recent years. While Tiruchi-Dindigul National Highway (NH 45) is being widened to a four-lane road by the National Highways Authority of India from the outskirts, beyond Ramji Nagar, the stretch within the city limits had been lying in neglect over the past few years.

The road stretch was recently handed over to the State Highways Department, which 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 V.V.V. Theatre junction in Ponnagar and 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.

Sources in the highways department clarified that the work has not been suspended but time has to be given for the wet mix macadam to settle. The layer would be subject to quality checks. Although water is sprayed on the wet mix macadam to prevent dust pollution, the base layer dried up soon owing to the heavy traffic. The road would be blacktopped and the entire work would be completed soon, the sources said.