Motorists commuting on Tiruchi-Thuraiyur Road have called for urgent steps to widen the Nochiam-Manachanallur section to cater to the rising volume of traffic.
The Highways Department is relaying the three-km-long stretch. However, residents like S. Chandrasekaran, a businessman, say it is too narrow to accommodate the increasing traffic .
Renowned for its rice mills, Manachanallur is situated on the outskirts of the city and, in recent years, has witnessed rapid urbanisation. Agricultural fields are fast giving way to residential colonies and layouts along Nochiam-Manachanallur Road, accounting for the rise in vehicular movement.
The road caters to a large number of people commuting to Tiruchi from Manachanallur, Thuraiyur and several other villages. Besides, a large number of heavy vehicles headed to Thuraiyur and beyond also go via the road.
“More than 40 villages are situated around Manachanallur and commuters traverse via the road. Hundreds of vehicles headed to Thuraiyur and beyond go by this road,” says N. Saravanan, a road safety activist.
.”Besides, a large number of padayatris from Musiri Road also take this route to reach Samayapuram Mariamman Temple. We want the stretch to be widened and upgraded as a two-lane highway with paved shoulders from No. 1 Tollgate to Manachanallur,” he adds.
Mr. Saravanan claims that the narrow road between Nochiam and Manachanallur Taluk Office has 13 speed breakers, giving a torrid time to motorists. A large number of vendors selling fruits, vegetables and other items have set shop along the road to attract passers-by. Many stop their vehicles abruptly to buy their products, leading to traffic snarls. Hence, the roadside shops should be regulated.
When contacted, a senior official of the Highways Department said a proposal to widen the road would be sent for approval soon so as to execute the work next financial year. The proposal would be to widen the road to 10 metres, with paved shoulders, from the existing seven metres. The feasibility of widening the stretch of the winding road between Uttamarkovil and Nochiam would also be studied.