Commuters travel 40 km to reach Vilathikulam during floods

The new bridge across the Vaipar in Vilathikulam taluk is heading for completion. It would be a dream come true for the people of the region. The bridge works had been taken up by the Highway Authorities with the financial assistance from the NABARD. The construction works were being carried out at an estimated cost of Rs. 13.65 crore. The structural design spans four hundred metres in length and twelve-metres in breadth. About 75 per cent of the works on erection of pillars had been completed so far.

The bridge would have twenty spans. Deck slabs in support of the bridge had been constructed at twelve locations and works were in progress for the construction of the remaining eight deck slabs, sources from the Department of Highways said. The project that was taken up for construction in December 2009 was earmarked for completion by June 2011. Only the shifting of electricity poles and removal of trees on the approach road were stumbling blocks in the project. To ward off these constraints, the authorities concerned should come forward and extend cooperation for expediting this task. “ The unexpected floods in Vaipar have caused the delay in the construction of the bridge,” the sources added.

At times of floods, commuters by and large faced hardships in crossing the bed-level causeway, which is adjacent to the upcoming bridge, A. Krishnasamy, President, Kamalapuram Village Panchayat, Vilathikulam taluk said. The commuters had a harrowing experience during floods to reach Vilathikulam through the bed level causeway. They had to travel more than 40 kilometres, additionally, to reach Vilathikulam.

The commuters had no alternative but to cross Ettayapuram, Melakaranthai and Nahalapuram to reach Vilathikulam.