Madurai

‘Smart road’ work tests the patience of vehicle users

Must bear with this: Vehicles crawling along the whatever remains of the carriageway of South Masi Street where ‘smart road’ work is going on.

Must bear with this: Vehicles crawling along the whatever remains of the carriageway of South Masi Street where ‘smart road’ work is going on.  

Improper planning and slower pace of execution of work on the four Masi streets are causing inconvenience to road users

Traffic snarls have become a common sight on the already congested four Masi Streets around Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, where the Madurai Corporation is laying ‘smart roads.’

Improper planning and slower pace of execution of work is causing inconvenience to road users. They demand faster execution of work and alternative measures for the ease of road users during this period.

The Masi streets, which run for around 4.6 km, are being renovated at a cost of ₹47 crore under the Smart Cities Mission. These roads fall under the Area-Based Development Zone (ABDZ) of the Corporation.

Each of these roads will have three underground ducts that are separated by concrete. The first underground duct will have electrical cables, the second will have communication cables and the last one will be used as storm water drains. To ensure longer durability, finally, the roads would be laid completely with concrete.

According to a Corporation engineer, currently, underground duct work has been completed at around 700 metres on the four Masi streets. A good part of work has been completed on West Masi Street.

With the ongoing work, which has reduced the carriageway by half, traffic congestion has worsened on East Masi Street, complained P. Thangamani, a shopkeeper. “Every day hundreds of lorries cross the stretch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. During peak hours, it takes around 15 minutes for vehicle users to pass through this stretch,” he said.

P. Selvakumar, another shopkeeper, complained that the contract workers dumped construction debris on streets. “Many shops remained closed due to the construction work as debris were dumped in front of their shops. We welcome this development project. But the officials must execute the project properly as this is the main commercial hub of the city,” he said.

The workers have not paved the portions of road where the work has been completed.“As a result, many lorries get stuck in wet soil, which further worsens the congestion,” he added.

On Monday, Corporation men pumped out water which has leaked from broken pipelines due to construction work and let them onto South Masi Street. “Movement on one portion of the road was restricted due to construction work and on the other side pedestrians are suffering as they have to wade through puddles of water,” said an autorickshaw driver.

Many shopkeepers also complained that water pipelines got damaged due to construction work and caused inconvenience to them. “Had they informed earlier, we would have at least arranged for other alternatives,” said Lakshman, a shopkeeper on South Masi Street.

With the ongoing construction work, the dust pollution has worsened, complained a police official. “It will be better if officials carry out the work in a phased manner,” said the official.

A Corporation official said that water that was stagnant due to the leakage from damaged pipelines caused the delay in completion of the project.

“Before the commencement of Chithirai festival, work will be completed at portions of road which are dug up now. No new portions of road will be dug up,” said the official.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:11:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/smart-roads-test-the-patience-of-road-users/article30789257.ece

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