Toll plaza planned at Maranthai on Tirunelveli- Tenkasi highway

Widening work is going at a slow pace on the Tirunelveli – Tenkasi highway, as seen at Abishekapatti on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

The 45.60-km Tirunelveli - Tenkasi highway, which is being widened into a four-lane road on an outlay of ₹430.71 crore, will be a pay-and-use thoroughfare as a toll plaza has been planned at Maranthai.

Though the State government gave its approval for the project on May 29, 2015, work started only in February last. The widening work between Pettai on Tirunelveli outskirts and Alangulam (22.70 km)and Alangulam- Azad Nagar bridge on the Tenkasi outskirts (22.90 km) is going with a target to complete it by August 2022.

It will have 79 culverts and two major bridges. It will be 35 metre wide in rural areas and 25 to 28 metres in urban areas. The major bridges will come up at Alangulam (200 metres long) and at Pavoorchathiram, rail overbridge (990 metres). The firm which has been awarded the contract will maintain the road for five years and trees will be planted on the roadside as a few hundred trees have been felled for the project.

Though the project has to be completed within the next 13 months, the quantum of work completed so far is very less. Only 8% of the work has been completed between Pettai and Alangulam and 2% between Alangulam and Tenkasi.

The widening of one of the busiest roads in southern Tamil Nadu is a welcome move but the decision to collect toll for using it has irked road users. “Thousands of vehicles use this road which connects neighbouring Kerala, Courtallam and Tenkasi with Tirunelveli and the port town of Thoothukudi. As people in Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts are closely linked to each other in terms of education, healthcare, employment etc., a large number of travellers use this road. Hundred trucks carry tiles, bricks, vegetables, cement, timber, gas, coal etc., from Thoothukudi seaport to Kerala and vice versa. So, widening of this road is the government’s duty for which it should not collect toll,” says farmer T. Mariappan of Vaithilingapuram near Aavudaiyanoor, who obtained all these information under Right to Information Act from the Department of Highways.

Farmers and traders of both the districts have decided to meet MLAs and MPs of Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts to press their demand on toll waiver.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 11:49:11 PM |

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