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Tiruchi-Pudukottai highway struggles to cater to huge volume of traffic

The highway is slowly but steadily turning out to be congested due to a steep increase in the volume of traffic over the years

September 25, 2022 09:15 pm | Updated 09:15 pm IST - TIRUCHI

The four-lane Pudukottai Highway becomes a two-lane road after the Tiruchi airport.

The four-lane Pudukottai Highway becomes a two-lane road after the Tiruchi airport. | Photo Credit: File Photo

Driving along the Tiruchi-Pudukottai highway has turned out to be a nightmarish experience for motorists due to the manifold increase in vehicular traffic.

When the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) took up the road widening work for a distance of 52 km from Tiruchi to Pudukottai about 12 years ago, the volume of traffic was not much. Considering the vehicular traffic that prevailed during the project’s conceptual stage, the NHAI decided to widen the two-way road with paved shoulders on both sides besides constructing culverts.

The motorists, who struggled to ride or drive on the old NH 210, heaved a sigh of relief after the road was widened. With the low volume of traffic on the road, they found driving a pleasant experience between Pudukottai and Tiruchi. The width of the road used to be sufficient to give way to overtaking vehicles.

But, the highway is slowly but steadily turning out to be congested due to a steep increase in the volume of traffic over the years. Thousands of vehicles ply on the road all through the day. Besides Rameswaram, Ramanathapuram, Paramakudi, Karaikudi, Devakottai and Sivaganga, the highway links several interior towns and coastal towns in Pudukottai district. In addition, a large number of trucks use the highway to transport blue metals and M-sand to various parts of Tiruchi, Pudukottai and neighboring districts.

With heavy traffic on the highway, drivers face hardship with the existing road width. They invariably restrict the speed of vehicles between 50 to 60 km per hour. Overtaking has become dangerous as there is a continuous stream of vehicles from the opposite side. Things get even tougher during peak and night hours.

“Though it is a tolled road, I do not find pleasure in driving on the highway as the width is insufficient to cater to the huge volume of traffic. The NHAI should have made the highway into a four-lane road much earlier. It has failed to estimate the volume of growing vehicular traffic accurately,” says M. Vinoth, a cab driver in Tiruchi.

A cross section of vehicle users demanded that the NHAI take immediate steps to convert the entire stretch from Tiruchi to Ramanathapuram into a four-lane carriageway as the volume of traffic continues to increase at a fast clip.

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