Madurai

A stretch that does not live up to its name

Heavy vehicles parked on both sides of 120 Feet Road near Surveyor Colony in Madurai prevents free flow of traffic.

Heavy vehicles parked on both sides of 120 Feet Road near Surveyor Colony in Madurai prevents free flow of traffic.

It is strange but true. The stretch between Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Stand and Alagarkoil Road near Surveyor Colony – 120 Feet Road – is perhaps the broadest road in a residential area in the city. The width of the thoroughfare is more than enough for six heavy vehicles to go up or down simultaneously without any impediment if everyone follows the traffic rules. But drivers, however talented, find it uncomfortable due to indiscriminate encroachments, parking of vehicles on both sides of the road for months together and plenty of potholes.

This vital link for residents of Surya Nagar, Iyer Bungalow, Moondrumavadi, Kadachaneanthal, Oomachikulam, GR Nagar, Mahalakshmi Nagar, Karpaga Nagar, Lourdu Nagar, TWAD Nagar, S. Kodikulam, Athikulam, Naganakulam, Sambakulam and K. Pudur to reach Mattuthavani bus stand is used for parking call taxis and has automobile workshops, hotels, shops and vendors on both sides. Some people have been occupying a minimum of 15 to 20 feet of the road permanently and the carriageway has shrunk considerably in the last 10 years.

Employees and daily-wage labourers, who work in nearby towns, reach Mattuthavani in their two-wheelers through this road, park them in the vehicle shed and proceed to their workplaces by buses.

Water tankers also use this road, pounding the path in the process.

The presence of street lamp poles within the 120 feet limit has come in handy for many people to encroach the road. Opening of the Mattuthavani bus stand in 1999, growth of a private school and extension of corporation limits have contributed to traffic density.

There is no one to regulate traffic here, except a policeman at the entry point of a school during morning or evening hours and another one at the junction of 120 Feet Road and Melur Road occasionally. Motorists are left to fend for themselves most of the time.

Traffic signals established at the junction of Alagarkoil Road a few years ago have not served any purpose. They functioned for a few days recently to the surprise of the local people only to go back to their dead position.

After the SP’s office was opened, autorickshaws parked on its side were pushed to the opposite side.

Nothing else has changed. Even the police outpost on this stretch does not serve any purpose. The traffic signal on Melur Road enforces discipline to some extent but share autorickshaws are a law unto themselves here.

Spoiler

One agency or the other keeps on digging the road but does not undo the damage. As a result, heavy vehicles get stuck sometimes. The fact that one-fourth of the road alone is covered with tar has made the situation worse.

Though patch work is taken up now and then, the road is not perfect even for 10 metres. Big craters or potholes can be found at every 10 feet. Precisely for this reason, many vehicles use the middle of the road. In fact, it is an ideal location to erect medians.

Deep slope on both ends has the potential to cause accidents. Blue metal is found scattered all over this stretch. Whenever there is heavy rain, water can be seen stagnating for several days.

The corporation authorities should relocate the lamp posts, remove encroachments and lay end-to-end tar road.

To call this stretch as 120 Feet Road in its present condition is a misnomer.


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Printable version | Oct 1, 2022 12:41:42 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/a-stretch-that-does-not-live-up-to-its-name/article17419841.ece