Tiruchirapalli

Tiruchi bypass road project remains grounded

Concrete structures stand unfinished as work on laying the bypass road fromPanchapur to Jeeyapuram is yet to resume.— PHOTO: R. M. RAJARATHINAM

Concrete structures stand unfinished as work on laying the bypass road fromPanchapur to Jeeyapuram is yet to resume.— PHOTO: R. M. RAJARATHINAM   | Photo Credit: R_M_RAJARATHINAM

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Revised alignment ready; no objection certificate from PWD awaited

The project to build a bypass road connecting the Tiruchi-Madurai, Tiruchi-Dindigul, and Tiruchi-Karur national highways around the city remains grounded even months after the authorities have finalised a revised alignment to overcome the objections raised by farmers.

Work on the bypass road was halted after the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, based on petition filed by local farmers, struck down the National Highways Authority of India’s plan to lay the road across the Kothamangalam, Kallikudi and Punganur tanks in 2010.

The farmers alleged that laying the road across the tanks would affect irrigation and their livelihood. It was suggested that the NHAI could build the bypass road as an elevated structure, without affecting the irrigation sources.

The project, mired in controversy relating to its alignment and land acquisition since 2006-07, would bring about a semi ring road for the city and could substantially reduce the traffic congestion within the city.

The road was to run from Panchapur on the NH45 via Thayanur to Jeeyapuram on NH 67. The project was taken up as part of the widening of the NH 67 being executed on Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

Although the NHAI had taken up work up on laying the bypass road, it was halted midway through following the court directive. Widening of the Karur highway up to Jeeyapuram has since been completed, but work on laying the bypass road has not yet resumed.

Following the court verdict, a public hearing was held in December 2011 to elicit the views of locals on the possible alternative alignments for the road. Although the district and NHAI authorities have since agreed on a revised alignment to take the bypass road along the bunds of the irrigation tanks, the work has not restarted.

Enquiries revealed that a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Public Works Department was awaited for the revised alignment.

While sources in the district administration said that the PWD was expected to issue the NOC soon, NHAI sources said that they have been waiting for nearly nine months now.

Meanwhile, farmers who took up the issue to the court opposing the laying of the road across the tanks, however, say that they were not against the project as such.

“We are not against laying the bypass road and in fact have been welcoming it right from the beginning. We only want the water bodies to be protected. We have no objection to the road being laid along the tank bunds,” said M.P.Chinnadurai, district president, Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 4:49:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/tiruchi-bypass-road-project-remains-grounded/article6577787.ece

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