A grade separator would come up near the new Integrated Bus Terminus (IBT) on the Tiruchi-Madurai National Highway as part of the semi-ring road that is to be built between Panjapur and Jeeyapuram in the city.
“With the IBT coming up at Panjapur close to the semi ring road, we have proposed the construction of a grade separator to provide entry and exit routes for the bus terminus,” P.Narasimhan, Project Director, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), told The Hindu. The IBT is designed as a model one in the State and would be multi-utility public facility.
The NHAI, which has already finalised the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for construction of the bypass road on a revised alignment, is awaiting the completion of the land acquisition process to commence the project. The semi ring road would run from Panjapur to Jeeyapuram to connect the Tiruchi-Madurai and Tiruchi-Karur national highways.
Although it was planned as part of the widening of the Tiruchi-Karur NH section some years ago, construction of the ring road ran aground after farmers raised objections to it being laid across irrigation tanks. The project was halted midway in 2010 after the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, while hearing a petition from farmers’ organisations, struck down the NHAI plan to build the road across Kothamangalam, Kallikudi and Punganur irrigation tanks in Tiruchi district. Farmers complained that the road, if built across the tanks, would affect irrigation and their livelihood. The court ordered that the bypass road be laid on a revised alignment without affecting irrigation sources.
As per the revised alignment, finalised in consultation with the district administration, the semi ring road would run for a length 21 km, three km more than the original proposal. About 33 hectares of land are to be acquired in the four villages of Panjapur, Pirattiyur West, Kallikudi North and Thayanur for building the road. The NHAI has deposited a compensation of about ₹ 39 crore with the Revenue to be disbursed to the owners whose lands are being acquired for the project.
Indications are that the project could become a reality in about three years. “Once we get possession of the land, we will initiate steps for the execution of the project. The actual construction work may take about two years,” Mr.Narasimhan indicated.
Apart from the one at Panjapur, the project would entail the construction of two more grade separators, two major road over bridges to be constructed jointly with the Railways (between Tiruchi and Poongudi stations; and Elamanur and Mutharasanallur stations), five major bridges, seven minor bridges, six vehicular underpasses, 57 box culverts and four pipe culverts.