Madurai

Traders smarting over delay in completion of road work

A woman walking with caution over a makeshift bridge across a trench dug up for the ‘smart road’ on East Masi Street in Madurai.

A woman walking with caution over a makeshift bridge across a trench dug up for the ‘smart road’ on East Masi Street in Madurai.  

The ongoing ‘smart road’ work on the four Masi streets around Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple is causing much inconvenience to road users and shopkeepers. They are demanding that this project must be speeded up and completed fast to end their hardships.

The Corporation is renovating the four Masi streets under the Central government’s Smart Cities Mission programme. All these roads fall under the Area Based Development Zone of the Corporation. Under the project, these roads will have three underground ducts which are separated by concrete. The first duct will have electrical cables, the second will have communication cables and the last one will be used as storm water drains. Finally, the whole road will be completely laid with concrete.

Ashraf Yusuf, secretary of Tamil Nadu Textile Merchants Association, who had recently written a letter to the authorities regarding the issue, said hundreds of traders and shopkeepers were affected due to the dust pollution caused by the road work. A large number of people descend on the four Masi streets to buy their every day provisions. “For the past six months, the roads have been dug up with iron rods protruding out, which are very dangerous for pedestrians and other road users. When there were heavy rains in the last week of May, few vehicles fell inside the deep trenches that were dug up for the project,” he added.

G. Mohan, a street vendor, said pedestrians suffered the most as there were no alternative arrangements. “Apart from the four Masi streets, road repair work is also under way in the adjoining streets. Hence, it becomes very difficult for vehicle users to travel on any of these roads,” he said.

Traffic snarls had become a common sight on the already congested Masi streets, said a traffic police personnel. “Sometimes, it becomes extremely difficult to regulate the traffic when the carriageway remains drastically reduced due to the ongoing project,” he said.

No phased manner

The police personnel suggested that work could be carried out in a phased manner. “Once they finish work on a particular portion of road, then they can move on to the next portion,” he said.

A Corporation official said 30% of the work had been completed. “Continuous movement of vehicles throughout day and night is causing delay in completion of the project,” he added.

Corporation Commissioner S. Visakan said laying ‘smart roads’ was highly complicated. “Still we are executing the project in a fast manner. The public must cooperate with us as the project is meant for their benefit only,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 1:07:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/traders-smarting-over-delay-in-completion-of-road-work/article32262144.ece

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