A group of people observed a fast in Kovilpatti on Tuesday to highlight their demand for an alternative route to the burial ground. The manned railway level crossing on Ilayarasanendhal road is proposed to be closed permanently for constructing a subway near the crossing. It was aimed at decongesting vehicular traffic, official sources said. But the residents of Nataraja Nagar, near the disputed crossing, raised objections to the proposed subway project as the passage would not be sufficient enough for the road users. The residents said it would be difficult to access the burial ground located at a distance from the level crossing, once it was closed indefinitely. Hence, they sought an alternative way of eight feet space adjacent to the level crossing. But the officials were at loggerheads as they could not find an alternative. T. Kathiresan, Revenue Divisional Officer, said it was only in the public interest that the subway project was proposed. Commuters in Kovilpatti had to wait before the level crossing for four to five hours everyday for the passage of more than 30 trains. Hence, it necessitated the subway, he said. T.V. Ramesh, Tahsildar, who held talks with the agitating residents, said the agitators were convinced after being assured that they could use the passage beside the level crossing, temporarily. He said once the project was taken up by the authorities, they would be urged to expedite the project, he said. Rajendran, Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the crowd gave up the fast and dispersed.

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