Tiruchirapalli

Death of commuters near Thiruverumbur rekindles service road demand

Construction of a service along Tiruchi-Thanjavur stretch of the National Highway 67 has been a longpendingdemand of the people of Tiruverumbur in Tiruchi. Photo: M. Srinath.

Construction of a service along Tiruchi-Thanjavur stretch of the National Highway 67 has been a longpendingdemand of the people of Tiruverumbur in Tiruchi. Photo: M. Srinath.   | Photo Credit: M_SRINATH

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MLA says it has been a burning problem in his constituency for several years

The recent death of two commuters, including a government employee, near Thiruverumbur on the Tiruchi-Thanjavur National Highway has once again rekindled the long-pending demand of building a service road between Palpannai and Thuvakudi.

While a village assistant (thalaiyari) of Arasankudi was killed at the Kallanai Piruvu, a Sri Lankan refugee residing in a camp at Vazhavanthakottai was killed near the Thiruverumbur bridge, forcing members of political parties and several resident welfare organisations to stage a demonstration in front of taluk office in Thiruverumbur a few days ago.

The service roads on both sides of NH 67 from Palpannai to Thuvakudi should have been laid when it was widened by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) a few years ago.

However, it was put on hold because of the political lobby following the stiff resistance of a section of traders, who feared that they would have to contribute their space for forming service road. Since the road users, particularly two-wheelers and local residents bore the brunt of the absence of service road on the busy NH 67, they took part in a number of agitations.

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and several other parties took to the streets demanding laying of the service lane.

Subsequently, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issued a public notification declaring its intention to acquire land for laying service lanes on the city stretch of the highway. It is said that the State government had allocated Rs. 84 crore for acquiring land for service lane project.

However, road users and residents allege that there was literally no progress on land allotment in spite of long battle to impress upon the immediate attention of government.

S. Senthil Kumar, MLA, Thiruverumbur, said it had become a major issue in the area. He had been facing pressure from the residents and road users. Innumerable accidents had taken place between Palpannai and Thuvakudi. Many accidents could have been avoided if only the service roads had been provided. The stretch was posing real danger to the road users.

The threat was palpable in the peak hours in the morning and evening.

Thousands of students, BHEL workers, and local residents underwent considerable stress while crossing the busy road.

Although the State government had announced its intention to launch land acquisition drive in the Legislative Assembly, action had not been taken to implement the promise, he added.

Mr. Kumar demanded that the NHAI stop the collection of toll on the highway until the service roads were laid.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 5:13:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/death-of-commuters-near-thiruverumbur-rekindles-service-road-demand/article6690689.ece

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