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Barricades around open manholes cause inconvenience, say residents

January 22, 2023 05:54 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:05 am IST - DINDIGUL

A barricade to caution residents against damaged drainage culvert poses a threat to road users on East Car Street in Dindigul.

A barricade to caution residents against damaged drainage culvert poses a threat to road users on East Car Street in Dindigul. | Photo Credit: G. Karthikeyan

Barricades around open manholes of underground drainage on arterial roads in Dindigul town have become a common sight over the past few months, much to the inconvenience of commuters.

Among the many busy roads where these barricades have almost become permanent properties include East Car Street and the stretch leading to Annamalaiar Mills Girls Higher Secondary School in Nagal Nagar. A barricade stands near an open manholes on Aarthi theatre road at YMR Patti and on Tiruchi Road for over two months, which throws up as a surprise to commuters who are mostly unaware of it.

“The open culvert on East Car Street has been posing a big threat to commuters for months now. The authorities have not shown up ever since they put up a barricade there which is clearly not the solution. It is only an obstruction preventing free flow of traffic than a safety measure,” charged M. Kuppusamy, a fruit seller. The manholes were opened to desilt the blocked drainage channels and later abandoned with a meek barricade to safeguard commuters, he noted.

H. Rajesh Kannan, district treasurer, Tamil Nadu Consumer Protection Centre, noted that there are many broken lids of manholes at Govindapuram, Gopalasamudram, on Palani Road, near Kamarajar bus stand etc. which are not often barricaded.

“Authorities must ensure that the gaping holes are replaced with sturdy concrete lids after repair works since the weak ones break if heavy vehicles run over them. Further, in most places the manhole covers are raised or lower than the road surface which makes commuting such a risk. Motorists have a tough time negotiating with the uneven roads punctuated with these protruding manholes. If it is tough for locals itself, people coming from other cities may find it even tougher since they are unfamiliar with the situation, especially at night,” he added.

Mr. Kannan said that the Corporation must hold ward-wise special grievances redressal meetings to rectify mistakes, especially related to UGD which is currently complete in 24 wards out of the total 48.

Meanwhile, the dugout mud to take up underground drainage work at Vivekananda Nagar junction in ward 14 has been lying mounted up to three feet on the roads protected by barricades. The street is also punctuated with a barricaded-manhole opened around six months ago, charged BJP Councillor G. Dhanabalan.

“This has only left space for two-wheelers to wade through the bad road. Four-wheeler users are forced to take up a longer route which is unnecessary if only the authorities act in time. There are marriage halls and the arterial road connects a school. The Corporation authorities keep stating that there is no equipment to desilt the clogged drain, only adding to commuters’ worry,” he added.

Commuters suffering falls while negotiating the barricades is a common complaint put forth by many residents. “Authorities must not wait to act until there is a life lost due to their carelessness since there are minor accidents caused frequently,” said K. Velan, a senior citizen.

When asked, Corporation Commissioner S. Sivasubramanian said that funds had been sanctioned and the manholes would be covered across the city within 15 days.

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