NHAI undertakes strengthening of Perambalur-Thanjavur road
Much to the relief of Chennai-bound rail passengers in the delta districts who travel by bus to board trains at Ariyalur railway station, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is expected to complete the on-going works to widen and re-lay the stretch from Tirumanur to Ariyalur within a couple of months.
Barring eight kilometres that were found in a good condition in the 74-km stretch from Perambalur to Thanjavur, the NHAI had initiated the work to strengthen the remaining part a few months ago.
Work was being carried out simultaneously in both directions. Works in the stretches from Perambalur to Ariyalur, and between Tiruvaiyaru and Tirumanur have already been completed.
The most-damaged part is the 12-km stretch from Ariyalur town to Keezhapazhur that could not withstand the weight of heavy tonnage vehicles used by the cement industries.
Due to the intense damage, the worst sufferers were the travelling public from the delta districts who come by bus to board the Pallavan Express at 7.35 a.m. at the Ariyalur Railway Station.
The travel duration from Thanjavur to Ariyalur exceeds one and a half hours due to the poor condition of the road.
Once the re-lay work is completed, the duration could be reduced at least by 15 minutes, according to Senthil, a frequent rail traveller.
Similarly, even on their return journey from Chennai, Thanjavur-bound passengers alight at Ariyalur and go by bus.
By preferring to alight at Ariyalur and proceed towards Thanjavur, they save nearly two hours as otherwise they would have to travel via Tiruchi.
Official sources said the entire stretch was being re-laid and widened to the extent of two metres on either side with the capacity to withstand the weight of the vehicles used by the cement industries.