Madurai

It’s a dangerous drive on dusty roads riddled with potholes

The bad condition of the road near Lakshmi Theatre in Tirunelveli Town on Friday.   | Photo Credit: SHAIKMOHIDEEN A

The busy roads of Tirunelveli and Palayamkottai, which were in unmotorable condition due to lack of maintenance for the past several months, are now causing number of accidents as these thoroughfares are filled with potholes after the recent rains.

Even though the political parties and other organisations were appealing to the Department of Highways and the Tirunelveli Corporation to repair the roads, it has not evoked any positive response till date.

The situation has now turned from bad to the worse after several spells of rain pounded the district.

The Swami Nellaiyappar High Road and the South Mount Road, which are being used by a few thousand vehicles everyday including timber-laden and cement-laden lorries going to neighbouring Kerala, are unmotorable.

Agitated over this, Tirunelveli MLA Nainar Nagenthran, who chaired a discussion with traders, autorickshaw drivers, cab drivers and the public in his office recently, announced that he would mobilise the public against the ‘inactive’ Department of Highways and organise a fast in protest against the government department’s miserable failure. Mr. Nagenthran also submitted a petition to Corporation Commissioner B. Vishnu Chandran in this connection.

However, the officials managed to pacify him with the assurance that they would repair this stretch immediately and relay the road after the end of northeast monsoon. However, only the potholes are being filled-up with blue metal.

When the heavily damaged Tirunelveli Town – Suththamalli Road caused accidents everyday, Inspector of Police, Suththamalli, Hariharan took the efforts to repair the road to make it safer. However, the Department of Highways was silent. As accidents on this stretch have become a routine affair, the police warned the Department of Highways of stringent action against the officials concerned if the road was not repaired immediately to ensure the safety of the road-users.

Only after the warning, the Department of Highways took up patch work on the badly damaged portions.

The busy 7-Km-long bypass road connecting Thatchanallur intersection in the north and the NGO Colony intersection in the south is in a terrible shape. Even though this badly damaged road near the western entrance of the Vaeinthaankulam new bus-stand is causing accidents everyday, the State Highways Department has filled-up only the big craters with the blue metal without any tar while leaving other pits untouched.

The 5-year-old 4-lane road between Palayamkottai Central Prison and 4-lane national highway too has potholes at several places. After repeated accidents involving two-wheelers and subsequent complaints by the public, these potholes are being filled with just blue metal and without bitumen. As the heavy vehicles hit the blue metal-filled pits at high speed, the broken stones get removed from the potholes and get scattered all along the road leading to more accidents, especially involving bikes.

Almost all the roads being maintained by the Tirunelveli Corporation are in a worst shape.

“The reason behind this is the corruption in awarding the road laying contracts. Since the hands of everyone involved in this process are tainted, the tax-paying road-users are feeling the heat. The new DMK-led government should at least ensure corruption-free contracts awarding system which will automatically ensure quality of the roads,” says K.M.A. Nizam, Tirunelveli district secretary of MDMK and also a road contractor.


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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 11:47:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/its-a-dangerous-drive-on-dusty-roads-riddled-with-potholes/article37824841.ece

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