Madurai

It’s a rough ride all the way

An apology for a main road at Santosham Nagar near Avaniapuram in Madurai.   | Photo Credit: G. Moorthy

After a few days of heavy rains, residents of Periyar Nagar in Avaniapuram have to put up with not just waterlogging but also a main road that looks like a dirt track stripped off its blacktop and riddled with craters.

This road that branches off from the Ring Road at Periyar Nagar leads to Avaniapuram and passes through Santosham Nagar. It is dotted with many small-scale units and newly-developed residential areas on either side. Wild growth of ‘karuvela’ trees (Prosopis juliflora) amid pools of stagnant rainwater on empty plots poses a health hazard to residents here.

Though the area is located within Madurai Corporation limits, there are only mud tracks here. Slushy roads, which look more like ploughed fields, lead to houses.

Heavy traffic

For residents, navigating this stretch is not the only contentious issue - it is the main road that gives them jitters. Traffic on this road is heavy. Two-wheelers, cars, lorries bringing consignments to industries - all these vehicles use this slushy and tattered road. Lorries with heavy cargo deepen the potholes.

Workers at a scrap yard located here say the road has been bad for more than a year and after the rains it is almost unmotorable.

Moorthy, a taxi driver who regularly takes the route, says as far as he remembers, the road was laid only before the elections and after that it was forgotten. “Earlier, we could reach Avaniapuram in 5 to 10 minutes but now because of the bad condition of the road, it takes almost half an hour,” he rues.

Two-wheeler riders have a tough time, especially at night. Overtaking is just impossible and even if the drivers want to give way to other vehicles, dexterity is needed along with a niggling fear that they would either end up in a puddle or slip off the road.

Bose Muthiah, former DMK councillor, points out that earlier this road was under Tirupparankundram panchayat union but later it was brought under the Corporation limits and now it comes under the State Highways Department. The project to relay the entire road is a major one, and he said it would be done soon.

But till then what people like Shekar, a security guard at one of the units, want is patchups or at least filling up of the deep craters with gravel to make the ride less dangerous.


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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 8:38:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/its-a-rough-ride-all-the-way/article37810586.ece

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