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Re-laid road dug up, unfinished work vexes commuters

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WOES CONTINUE: It's a bumpy ride on the Podanur - Nanjundapuram stretch. - PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN
WOES CONTINUE: It's a bumpy ride on the Podanur - Nanjundapuram stretch. - PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

Subha J Rao

Children develop wheezing; damages to vehicles The dug up Podanur-Nanjundapuram Road a bother

Coimbatore: It has always been a case of `so near yet so far' for commuters on Podanur-Nanjundapuram Road. For more than two years, they longed for a motorable road. When work on widening and re-laying the road began four months ago, people were thrilled.

Gravel fill

But, it was short-lived. Workers dug up the entire road and tar-topped most of it, except a half-a-km stretch. This was filled with gravel and covered with red soil. And then, work stopped.

It has been two months now and the red earth layer and parts of the gravel cover have peeled off, leaving behind gaping potholes with jagged edges.

Breathing problems

Two-wheeler riders are the most affected by the unfinished work. The dust raised by the thousands of vehicles passing by this route has left many with breathing problems. Also, the scattered gravel is an accident waiting to happen. Some vehicles have skidded leaving drivers and pillion riders nursing bad puncture wounds. Even last week, a cyclist skidded and fell into the roadside ditch.

Michael, who bikes regularly on the road, says he dreads the thought of an accident here. "It is a definite possibility and I drive very slowly," he says.

Vehicles rattle

The uneven stretch also ensures that the suspension system takes a beating every time vehicles rattle along the road.

Adeeshwaran, a car driver, says constant driving on this stretch has resulted in tyre damage. Mileage has also dropped drastically because you can travel only in the second gear. Others complain of a rattling sound in the car long after they cross this area.

Children affected

People who live down the road complain of dust invading their houses. Many children have developed wheezing.

An official in the State Highways Department says work is on in Podanur area and this ignored stretch will also soon be taken up for tar-topping. How long that will take is anybody's guess!

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