M. Balaganessin

TIRUCHI: A couple of bridges inaugurated by the Local Administration Minister M. K. Stalin on Friday at Manapparai town in the district, stand for unique features on several counts.

Firstly, the bridges, built at Sevalur and Vellakal areas of the town at a total outlay of Rs.2.20 crore under the ‘Integrated Urban Development of Small and Medium Towns’ across the flood-prone Mamundi river in the heart of the town, were the felt-needs of the residents of this municipal town for a prolonged period.

Although the residents could utilise the pathway during non-monsoon period, this taluk headquarters was virtually cut off from the rest of the villages in the periphery during the rainy seasons. Another salient feature of the project is that these bridges had been constructed by the Municipality, through a special permission by the Local Administration Department, instead of the Highways department, the wing usually in-charge of bridge-related proposals.

The bridges are 8.50 metre wide each. The Sevalur bridge, 101.6 metre long had been constructed at an outlay of Rs.1.63 crore. The Vellakal bridge built at an expenditure of Rs. 46 lakh is 25.28 metre long.

Speaking after inaugurating the bridges, Mr. Stalin said that encouraged by the Municipality’s efforts in constructing the bridges, they were beautified with a special sanction of Rs. 8 lakh through 20 lamps.

He also explained the achievements being made through the implementation of the ‘Anaithu Nagaratchi Anna Marumalarchi Thittam’ under which 15 economically weak municipal towns had been selected for implementation of improvised civic amenities during the current year.

Mr. Stalin also laid the foundation-stone for the new municipal office estimated at an outlay of Rs. 75 lakh under the “Infrastrucutre Gap Filling Fund” programme.

Transport Minister K.N. Nehru, Forests Minister N. Selvaraj and Collector T. Soundiah were present. According to the project report, the new office, with a total plinth area of 8,000 sq.ft on the ground and first floors, would ease the congestion at the old building.

While the State government would release a subsidy of Rs. 30 lakh, the Municipality would take a loan of the balance Rs. 45 lakh from a funding agency.