Madurai railway division wants early completion of subway at Lanthai in Ramanathapuram district

Published - July 09, 2024 08:00 pm IST - Madurai

An aerial view of construction of subway at Lanthai near Ramanathapuram which remained incomplete, owing to protests by villagers.

An aerial view of construction of subway at Lanthai near Ramanathapuram which remained incomplete, owing to protests by villagers.

 Exuding hope that completing a few critical works in construction of limited use subway at Lanthai in Ramanathapuram district would prevent flooding, Madurai Divisional Railway Manager Sharad Srivastava has appealed to the local villagers to cooperate with railway officials for the same.

After inspecting the subway location on Saturday, the DRM is optimistic about finishing the remaining subway work before the rainfall. Timely completion was essential to mitigate potential flooding problems and ensure the safety of commuters, he said.

The railways had initiated the subway work in August 2016 to ensure safe movement of villagers across the track by eliminating unmanned level crossing No. 494, which connects Lanthai with NH-87.

The subway, located between Sattirakkudi and Ramanathapuram in the Manamadurai-Rameswaram section, was designed for 4.5 metres wide and 3.6 metres high.

Consequently, the concrete box was installed and the approach road on the national highway side in 2019 was completed.

The work on constructing sump was also partially finished in 2020. However, the remaining work was halted owing to protests from village residents demanding the reinstatement of the level crossing gate, a statement said.

Despite repeated attempts by the railways to complete the project, non-cooperation and protests by the public have hindered progress. Peace committee talks held at State revenue official offices yielded little success, resulting in only the bailing out of water during the monsoon season. Due to ongoing protests, agencies responsible for the work have been changed.

Railway engineering officials believe that completing a few identified tasks for preventing ingress of water into the subway will make it operational. If the work is started at the earliest, it can be completed before the monsoon season. 

Among the leftover works are provision of a siphon across the subway on both sides, completing the remaining retaining wall and concrete road approach on the Lanthai side.

Installation of cross drains across the subway on either side at the end of the approach road with grating, completion of the sump and pump house room along with arrangement to connect drainage with the major bridge and putting up roof, height guage and speed breakers are the other works.

Stating that the Ministry of Railways had sanctioned a road overbridge for Lanthai, with an allocation of ₹ 17.32 crore, Mr. Srivastava said that still the need for the subway at this location had relevance. It would benefit the local population by providing easy accessible routes for pedestrians, carts, cycles, and two-wheelers.

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