HC seeks report from NHAI on Vallanaadu bridge

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday sought a report from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) after a public interest litigation petition complained about the bad shape of Vallanaadu bridge that connects Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli.

A Division Bench of Justices Pushpa Sathyanarayana and P. Velmurugan sought a response in the PIL petition filed by G. Chidambaram of Thoothukudi district. He said the bridge across Thamirabarani river should be repaired immediately.

The NHAI in its status report submitted that the repair works on the entire bridge would be taken up and was pending approval from the competent authority NHAI, Delhi. The court directed NHAI to file the status report with a time schedule with regard to carrying out the entire repair works and also state whether the toll collected would be full or 50 % if the bridge repair works go beyond the estimated time. The hearing was adjourned till December 6.

The petitioner said that Vallanaadu bridge on the National Highway road connecting Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli was riddled with potholes. In 2017, there was a huge pothole in the middle of the bridge and it was repaired in a hasty manner.

The patchwork had come off and there are more potholes on the road now. Vehicle users are finding it difficult to use the bridge. A reply to an RTI application has revealed that there were 11 accident cases due to the potholes on the bridge from 2012-2021. It resulted in four casualties, he said.

He said that he had sent a representation to the NHAI authorities in this regard. They replied stating that due to COVID-19 the inspection committee had not inspected the road. After a recommendation of the committee, the bridge restoration works would begin.

But, even after the situation eased, the authorities have not taken any steps to repair the road. The authorities should take immediate steps to repair the road so that accidents on the bridge are prevented, he said.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 4:05:48 AM |

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