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Krishnagiri – Puducherry NH 66, a nightmare for motorists

R. Arivanantham
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Many stretches up to Tiruvannamalai badly damaged

Needs attention: The damaged road near Solakkapatti village on NH 66. — Photo: N. Bashkaran
Needs attention: The damaged road near Solakkapatti village on NH 66. — Photo: N. Bashkaran

The National Highway 66 between Krishnagiri – Puducherry has become a nightmare for motorists and heavy vehicle users. The Krishnagiri and Tiruvannamalai stretch has been badly damaged at many places.

In many places, there is no road at all. The worst affected were regular motorists and many complained of fatigue after a drive between Krishnagiri and Tiruvannamalai.

The 110 km stretch normally took two-and-a-half hours for a bus/motorist to cover. Due to the bad condition of the road, the journey time has doubled now.

Bus drivers who operated two trips from Bangalore to Tiruvannamalai lamented that they could not drive on this battered road for more than one trip.

Drivers also complained that due to heavy pot holes at many places they were forced to motor along the right side of the road which resulted in accidents with oncoming vehicles at times. Vehicles frequently plying on this road also suffered damage.

Residents near Thogarapally, Jagadevi and Mathur noted that the road was in need of immediate repair and its condition was worsening owing to delay in re-laying the damaged portions.

N. Varadarajan, Project Director, (in-charge), Villupuram Division of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) told The Hindu that the Rs. 1.5-crore allotted last year for patch work on the stretch was used up for work done up to Uthangarai from Tindivanam and some portion of the road near Krishnagiri. To undertake patch work from Uthangarai to Krishnagiri, an estimate of Rs. 80 lakh was sent for approval. Apart from this, the NHAI took a policy decision to hand over the maintenance of this road to the National Highways Department.

The officials of the National Highways also surveyed the road and prepared an estimate for Rs. 10 crore to make the road motorable from Krishnagiri to Tiruvannamalai district's border till the new road work commenced.

Estimate

The estimate was sent to the Ministry of Surface Transport in April 2011 for approval and the status of the request was awaited, an official of the National Highways said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Varadarajan said the contract for widening the 178 km section between Tindivanam and Krishnagiri was awarded to the Hyderabad-based Transstroy (India) Limited and the actual work would begin in another six months.

The present seven metre road would be expanded to a two-lane facility with paved shoulder from Tindivanam to Krishnagiri Section of NH 66 from kilometre 38.150 to kilometre 216.210 on Built Operate and Transfer (annuity) basis under NHDP Phase-III. The total project cost would be Rs. 624.20-crore.

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