Members of Federation for Retrieval of Tiruchi Palpannai to Thuvakudi Service Road staged a protest outside the Tiruverumbur taluk office on Wednesday demanding construction of service lanes along the city stretch of Tiruchi-Thanjavur National Highway at the earliest.
They said that absence of service lanes had caused several accidents and assailed what they described as inadequate action by the government departments to carry out construction work.
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had, in October, 2019, directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to take expeditious steps to build service lanes along the 14-km city stretch of the highway between Thuvakudi and Palpannai in Tiruchi.
The Bench said that it hoped and trusted that the service road would be formed within six months. However, over a year later, land acquisition process for the project was still under way, they said.
S. Saktivel, an organiser of the federation, an umbrella organisation of residents’ associations formed to fight for the cause, said that only 5% of the work has so far been completed.
‘It has taken them five months to issue a notice to acquire the land. Only one team is conducting a land survey and issuing notices. Had they appointed many teams across the several villages, work could have been carried out quickly,’ he said.
Stiff opposition from local traders has been an impediment, he added.
‘The road benefit residents of several localities. However, selfish motive of traders had stalled the project for years,’ he added.
The residents alleged accidents had become frequent due to the absence of service lanes. ‘Accidents take place every other day, often leading to deaths, or severe, irreversible injuries,’ they said.